About this project

While research on the Japanese language has a long history and has produced excellent results, not sufficient efforts have been made to analyze the language in comparison with other languages in the world. As a result, it is not sufficiently clear (i) what type of language Japanese is among the world’s languages, (ii) what insight can be obtained from general linguistic or typological considerations into the analysis of Japanese, and (iii) how research on Japanese can contribute to the development of general linguistics and typological studies. What is essential here is to look at Japanese from both outside and inside the language by addressing these questions.

With this background in mind, this project seeks to illuminate the nature of Japanese (dialects) by comparing its phenomena with those of various languages in the world and thereby to promote research on Japanese on a world-wide scale. To achieve these goals, this project examines various aspects of the language including sounds, lexicon, grammar, and meanings from cross-linguistic and typological perspectives, paying attention also to research in related fields including language acquisition, psychology and cognitive science. By so doing, it attempts to illuminate the similarities (or universality) and differences (or diversity) observed among languages. Research outputs thus obtained will be disseminated to academic communities around the world.

Project Leader
Haruo Kubozono(Professor, Theory and Typology Division, National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)

Subproject Sites

Prosody Team
Grammar Team
Noun Modifying Expressions
Grammar Team
Toritate Expressions
Grammar Team
Verb Semantics