Human-Social Information Sciences

Text Structure and Linguistic Information C06

  • Prof. Yoshiki Ogawa      
Keywordssyntax, morphosyntax, diachronic syntax, lexical semantics, corpus-based linguistics

Exploring the Universality and Diversity of Human Language(s)

We aim at explicating human linguistic competence. Carefully observing empirical data from various individual languages, we study how and why languages change diachronically and vary synchronically, in terms of syntax, morphology, phonology, and semantics. Our special emphasis is on the following fields:

(1)Morphosyntax:

To propose a hypothesis about how morphemes, words, and phrases (as a continuum) are combined and/or what their syntactic / semantic / phonological structures are, and examine the proposed hypotheses by empirical data.

(2)Lexical Semantics:

The semantic structure of words; in particular, the issues of what their basic semantic templates are like, which aspects of the semantic structure have syntactic reflexes, and what kind of syntactic structure they can occur in.

(3)Diachronic Syntax/ Comparative Syntax/ Psycholinguistics:

(i) The nature of diachronic change and synchronic diversity of languages, (ii) Proposal of a theory of the language faculty that allows change and diversity, and (iii) Justification of the theory by logical thinking, corpus studies, and methodologies of experimental psychology. (including a collaborative work with the department of Visual Cognition)

Through these researches, we also aim at making contribution to the theory and practices of language learning/teaching.

The research project called "Language Change and Language Variation Research Unit” is our interdisciplinary research activity that has been organized to pursue our aims from richly diversified perspectives. See the following URLs for more information about the activities lead by the staff of our lab:
http://ling.human.is.tohoku.ac.jp/change/home.html
http://www.aa.tufs.ac.jp/en/projects/jrp/jrp271

  • FLB & FLN(cited from Swedberg (2011) "What Makes Humans Unique? (II)")

  • A co-authored book, titled "Grammaticalization, Lexicalization, and Constructionalization," was published.