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HUM Seminar Language and Linguistics


Admission requirements

Admission to the cluster through application via the head of the programme board.


Language is everywhere. We use language daily to communicate with others and to express our thoughts. Linguistics aims to better understand how language works and what it is.
The Japanese language has some characteristics that it shares with other languages and others that are unique. In this course, we will highlight both aspects. The course explores a wide range of issues dealt with in Japanese linguistics. We will focus on the language itself as well as its users. The topics examined include language contact, linguistic description, iconicity in language, language in interaction as well as historical linguistics.
In addition to the above topics, we will also pay attention to research methods and writing skills.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to do the following;

  • Formulate a research question of proper scope

  • Identify main arguments in linguistic literature

  • Compare and evaluate different arguments on a given topic

  • Frame a hypothesis

  • Collect and analyze linguistic data

  • Construct a convincing argument based on linguistic literature and data

  • Create and conduct a well-structured and clear oral presentation


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Partial grades are weighed as follows;

  • Participation element: 50%, consisting of:

Attendance of min. 70% of classes
At least 5 of 6 webposts
Participation in class discussion

  • Final paper (ca. 3.000 words): 50%

The final grade consists of the weighed average of the partial grades. However, students have to get a passing grade (6.0 or higher) for both partial grades in order to complete the course.

Reading list

Content component:
A list of reading materials can be found in the Course Syllabus on Brightspace.There is no set textbook for this course.

Language component:
Information about the readings will be made available through Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.


Dr.K. Yoshioka.

M.J. van Berlo MA