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HUM Seminar Introduction to Japanese Linguistics


Admission requirements

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This introductory course examines linguistic aspects which characterize the Japanese language. We do this by exploring how adult learners acquire these aspects. The scope of the linguistic areas dealt with in the course will be limited to the sound system, vocabulary and word-formation, pragmatics and multi-modal communication. General issues that will be discussed include the role of native language in acquiring the Japanese sound system, the acquisition of Japanese-specific expressive words (mimetics), bilingual identity and language use (gendered language), and the co-occurrence of speech and gesture by mono- and bilinguals.

Course objectives

  • To foster understanding in issues that relate to second language acquisition and use.

  • To develop the ability to think critically about research findings in the field, and present opinions and arguments in written and oral form.

  • To raise awareness of one’s own language learning, and cultivate the ability to relate one’s own learning situations to theories and findings in the field.

  • To develop skills of finding a proper research topic/question, analysis and argumentation when writing an academic essay.


See timetable

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:

  • Participation elements (participation, presentation, assignments): 30%

  • Analytical paper and final essay: 70%

Debriefing: Students may make an individual appointment with the instructor within 30 days of the announcement of the assessment grades in order to discuss their work.

Reading list

P. Lightbown & N. Spada (2013) How languages are learned (fourth edition). New York: Oxford University Press.

Other readings will be announced in class.


Registration through uSis. Not registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registrationprocedures for classes and examinations’ for registration deadlines and more information on how to register

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

A la carte Contractonderwijs


Dr.K. Yoshioka.