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English Linguistics


The English Linguistics Program covers major research areas centering on grammatical theories in contemporary linguistics. There are at present five faculty members whose expertise ranges over areas such as morphology, lexicology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Students can study on any topic related to these areas.

Contemporary English linguistics is mainly characterized by two research paradigms: generative linguistics and cognitive linguistics. One salient feature of our program is to enable students to become familiar with the fundamental assumptions and methodologies of both generative and cognitive linguistics and do their research in a way that integrates both paradigms.

We consider it important not only to study English as one particular language, but also to investigate it in relation to linguistic universality and relativity, especially by comparing it with Japanese.

Students are trained (1) to acquire the basic knowledge of English linguistics and linguistics in general, (2) to be able to make insightful observations about linguistic data, (3) to develop clear argumentation, and (4) to enhance analytical, critical, and independent thinking skills. These qualifications are necessary to carry out original and convincing research.

In addition to ordinary courses, we have a monthly meeting called gEnglish Linguistics Colloquiumh in which all faculty and students participate. Every fall, we hold an annual meeting of the gTsukuba English Linguistic Societyh where students make research presentations to an audience made up of faculty, students, alumni, and other researchers. The Tsukuba English Linguistic Society is a student-run organization that also publishes a journal, Tsukuba English Studies, known as TES. All editorial work for TES, including review of papers, is done by students. Through activities in the Tsukuba English Linguistic Society, students will experience the importance of communication, interaction, and cooperation among researchers.

In our program, there is a strong tradition that students teach and learn from each other by holding weekly study meetings and working collaboratively in groups on various research projects. After obtaining a Masterfs Degree, some students go abroad for a Ph.D.; others continue to pursue their studies further and submit a doctoral dissertation. Most alumni of our program are currently teaching in colleges and universities across the country, and many of them are active in research as well.

For more information, go to the website:, or email Prof. Yukio Hirose at


HIROSE Yukio Semantics, Pragmatics, Lexicology
KAGA Nobuhiro Generative Grammar, Comparative Syntax
SHIMADA Masaharu Theoretical Linguistics, Syntax, Morphology
WADA Naoaki Semantics, English Grammar
KANETANI Masaru Construction Grammar, Pragmatics

Titles of Recent Doctoral Dissertations

2006: Semantic Compatibility between Verbs and Constructions: A Lexical-Constructional Approach to the Ditransitive Construction in English
2007:Motivations for the Meanings and Functions of Constructions: With Special Reference to English Constructions with Have and Get
2008: Causation and Reasoning: A Construction Grammar Approach to Conjunctions of Reason
2009:A Semantic and Pragmatic Investigation of Possessive Constructions in English and Japanese
2009: A Unified Approach to Pragmatically Licensed Constructions in English
2010: English Cognate Object Constructions and Related Phenomena: A Lexical-Constructional Approach
2011: The Dual Behavior of Postverbal Elements in English: A Parallel Architecture Approach
2011: Parametric Variations in A-Movement between Subject-Prominent Languages and Focus-Prominent Languages
2011: Form, Meaning, and Discourse: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Conditional Constructions in English and Japanese
2012: Prepositional Subject Constructions in English and Their Implications for Linguistic Markedness
2013: A Theory of Labeling in the Minimalist Program:Valuation in Merge and Its Application
2013: The Syntax of Causality: An Investigation of Event-Denoting Expressions in English
2014: A Construction Grammar Approach to Constructions with Intensifying Readings in English: With Special Reference to Fake Object Resultative Constructions, Body Part Off Constructions, and V the Hell Out of Constructions
2015: A Functional Approach to English Constructions Related to Evidentiality
2015: A Study on Cross-Linguistic Variations in Realization Patterns: New Proposals Based on Competition Theory
2015: Possessive Have, Existential Have, and Related Phenomena: Binding Relations Represented in Conceptual Structure
2017: Path Coercion and Compositionality: A Comparative Study of Motion Expressions in English and Japanese
2017: A Study on Semi-lexical Categories in Word-Formation in English and Japanese
2018: A Cartographic Approach to Focus-Related Linguistic Phenomena
2019: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Conditionals in English