Topics and concepts covered by unit. Refer to the main textbook, Japanese: A linguistic introduction (Hasegawa, 2015), unless specified.) *For daily assignments, please go to the Canvas site >> Modules.


Week 1a  (2/13)  Introduction to Japanese Linguistics

Chapter 1 Introduction, focus on 1.1.

descriptivism, prescriptivism, language, dialects, mutual intelligibility, arbitrariness, symbol(s), icon(s), index(es), etc.

Week 1b  (2/15) Sounds and Writing, Dialects overview

The writing systems of Japanese <あ ア 安 a>

Japanese Vowels and Consonants preview

Wk2a (M 2/20) Consonants & Vowels

Chapter 3 – 3.1 Phonetics!

[For consonants] voicing (voiced, voiceless), place of articulation (bilabial, alveolar, etc.), manner of articulation (stops/obstruent(s), fricative(s), affricate(s), etc.);

[For vowels]: tongue hight (high, mid, low); tongue advancement (front, central, back)

Wk2b (W 2/22) Rhythms and Patterns of Japanese Sounds 🎶

Chapter 3 – 3.2 – 3.4 Phonology and Prosody!

Rhythm of haiku, J-pop songs and more; mora & syllable, sound patterns

length, contrastive/non-contrastive

mora(s), syllable(s), contrastive/non-contrastive, phonemes, allophones, mora-timed language*, syllable-timed language*, stress-timed language*


To be updated:

Wk3a (M 2/27) Dialects and Pitch Accents

Chapter 3 – 3.5-3.7

accents, dialects, pitch-accent,

Wk3b (W 3/1) Discussion Session 1

Ch2 2.2 Okinawan Dialects (Hasegawa, 2015)

Ch3 Speech Errors and Word Games (Tsujimura, 2013)*

onset*, nucleus*, coda*, anticipation*, perseveration*, etc.


Wk 4a (M 3/6) Writing System and Vocabulary

4.1, 4.2; 5.1, 5.2

[Orthography] hiragana, katakana, kanji, roma-ji;

[Lexicon] word(s), content word(s), function word(s), noun(s), verb(s), adjective(s), adverb(s), case particle(s), sentence-final particle(s), postpositions, idiophone(s)), Sino-Japanese words, native-Japanese words, foreign loanwords, hybrid words,

Wk 4b (W 3/8) Discussion Session 2

5.3 (Word frequency); Onometopoeia (Shibatani, 1990)

onomatopoeia(s)*, phonomime (giongo)*, phenomime (gitaigo)*, psychomime (gijoogo)*,

Events hosted by the Linguistics Program

To be updated

Lecture on African American English on Thursday March 10 , 2022 @ 4:30-6:00pm

Over Fifty Years of Research on African American English: Breaking the Cycle

A lecture by Prof. Lisa Green (University of Massachusetts Amherst

Wk5a (M 3/13) Word Structure

6.1-6.4 Inflectional morphology pp. 75-83, 6.5-6.9 Derivational morphology pp. 83-87

morpheme(s), content morpheme(s), function morpheme(s), inflectional morpheme(s), derivational morpheme(s), compounding, compounds, etc.


To be updated:

TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 4:15–5:00 p.m. ET

Behind the Scenes at the Tokyo Olympics: The View from the Interpreter’s Booth  

Wk 5b (W 3/15) Discussion

Discussion leading

SPECIAL UNIT Various forms of Japanese & linguistic research

Wk 6a (M 3/27) Exploring Research Questions

Loanwords in hiragana (Kunert, 2020)

Wk 6b (W 3/29) Special session – TBA


Wk 7a (M 4/3) Case markers and word order

Chapter 7 Cases Marking; Word Order (Shibatani, 1990)*

constituents, nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, subject(s), predicate(s), argument(s), adjunct(s), valence, transitivity, head*, dependent*, modifier*, head-initial*, head-final*

Wk7b (W 4/5) Subject and Topics (ga and wa)

Ch8 Subjects and Topics

topic, subject, identifiability, anaphora, antecedent, staging, etc.

Wk 8a (M4/10) How to do things with words

Ch19 Speech Acts

speech act(s), illocutionary force(s), representative(s), expressive(s), declaration(s), commissive(s), directive(s), question(s), etc.

Wk8b (W4/12) Politeness and Honorifics

Ch20 Politeness, Honorifics

referent honorifics, addressee honorifics, honorific forms, humble forms, etc.

Wk9a (M4/17) Exploring social meanings

Ch22 Speech Style Shift; Ch23 Sentence final particles; Ch28 Gendered Language

Wk9b (W4/29) Discussion

Apologies in English and Japanese**


Wk10a (M4/24 ) How events are described

O’Grady and Archibald (2018) Lexicalization patterns

motion events, path of motion, manner of motion

Wk10b (W4/26) Expression of uncertainty & Demonstratives ‘This” and “That”

Ch24 Modality/Evidentiality; Ch26 Deixis, Demonstratives

modality, deontic modal, epistemic modal, demonstratives

Wk11a (W5/1)

Wk11b (W5/3) Discussions

Deictic expressions, Accessibility of Information (Shibatani 1990)*


Wk12a (M 5/8) Presentations 1

Reading TBA

Reading articles/Working on projects

Wk12b (W 5/10) Presentations 2

Reading TBA