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Applied Linguistics


If we try to define Applied Linguistics (応用言語学) in a few words, we face the challenge of accounting for the vast array of sub-areas this term encompasses, not to mention its fuzzy boundaries with what some may consider to be the core of linguistics proper. So it is not surprising that the term Applied Linguistics can conjure up a variety of images of the type of research and educational activities being undertaken at an institution under such a name.

Our Applied Linguistics group strives to achieve a multi-pronged applied research program that emphasizes language knowledge and language use. As can be seen from the areas of specialization of our faculty members and the classes they teach, the most salient feature of our group is that our interests revolve around the Japanese language.

Six faculty members provide basic and applied research perspectives on Japanese phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse, from both descriptive and theoretical points of view. This allows our students to undertake research in a number of different areas, including contrastive linguistics, corpus linguistics, language education, language acquisition, socio-linguistics, and so on.

Currently, there are 20 graduate students in total in our 5-year doctoral program. Another salient feature of our program is the large number of foreign students, who comprise roughly half of our enrollment and come from China, Thailand and a variety of other parts of the world. To broaden the international component of their education, many of our students take time off to study at foreign institutions or to acquire experience teaching Japanese to foreigners.

Our graduate students specialize in a wide range of topics in modern Japanese, including descriptive and theoretical approaches to grammar, discourse analysis, contrastive studies, Japanese language education, second language acquisition, corpus-based analysis of grammar and discourse, graphemics, and phonology.

Graduate students have a forum for the publication of their research in the Tsukuba Journal of Applied Linguistics and the Tsukuba Working Papers in Linguistics, which are edited jointly by the students and faculty of our group (the latter journal in collaboration with the General Linguistics group).

We also organize the "Tsukuba Mini-conference on Applied Linguistics" every year in September, where alumni give guest lectures and current students present their most recent results. Since its start in 2004, the mini-conference has welcomed a broad audience, providing an opportunity for lively discussion for students and faculty alike.

Over 80 doctoral dissertations have been successfully completed in our group. We also have a large network of former students both in Japan and abroad who are involved in teaching and researching the Japanese language and language education.

Inquiries regarding the Applied Linguistics group should be addressed to Koichi Takezawa.



Japanese linguistics, Grammatical Studies


Teaching methods of Japanese language, Phonetics

NUMATA Yoshiko

Japanese linguistics


Japanese linguistics, Sino-Japanese contrastive linguistics


Japanese linguistics (Syntax, Semantics), Corpus linguistics


Theoretical linguistics, Contrastive linguistics, Syntax