News

Xiaoting Li, Tsuyoshi Ono, Yaqiong Liu, and Saori Daiju will present at the upcoming 2017 International Pragmatics Conference in Belfast, UK. See you all there! [program]



 Our own Tetsuya Miyaguchi just started his new position at Tokyo University of Social Welfare. Congratulations!!!



We are presenting at CAJLE!

Saori Daiju
    Not saying exactly what it is is sometimes good enough: the unspecified use of demonstrative are in Japanese everyday talk

Kanza Tariq
    “Fuzzy” boundaries between the two kinds of Japanese adjectives



Look!





Our first year grad students are presenting at the Department of East Asian Studies 2017 Graduate Colloquium

Date: Thursday, April 13, 2-4 pm
Place: Pembina 3-04

Saori Daiju 
    Distal demonstrative are for unspecified referents in Japanese everyday talk

Kanza Tariq 
    “Fuzzy” boundaries between the two kinds of Japanese adjectives

Xiaoyun Wang 
    The interactional function of suoyi in Mandarin Chinese conversation



Information session with regard to the MA program in East Asian Studies (career in Japanese teaching in North America)

Time: 4:30-5:30 on 4/12place: Arts 501 (take the south stairs)
The session will be given in Japanese








Feb 17-23  3rd Miyako Language Documentation Training Workshop





Saori Daiju is talking at MLCS Graduate Student Conference









Chinese linguistics talk on 11/23

Time: 11/23 1:30-2:40 pm
Place: Arts 501 (take the south stairs to get there)

Yaqiong Liu (Shanghai Maritime University)
    Interactional Functions of the Utterance-Final “le” in Museum Guide's Talk

Abstract: The particle “le” used at the end of utterances in museum guides’ talks can be seen as an emergent phenomenon from discourse. Firstly, it is different from the standard “le”, which is typically recognized as indicating a change of state, in spite of both being at the utterance-final position. Secondly, it appears mainly in tour guides’ informational speech to visitors. Most of the tokens are used in conjunction with definiteness marked utterances and in situations where there is a transition of scenes (including the movement of sight). Thirdly, it can be omitted without affecting the meaning of the utterance where it appears. This paper finds that this kind of “le” does not appear in casual speech and other discourse genres. It is an interactional device used for the museum guide to involve the audience. Specifically, it functions to remind the listeners the changes of position, topic, or knowledge state. Based on authentic data (4 hours of recorded museum tours), the paper reports the distribution, constraints, interactional functions of this type of “le” and tries to offer an analysis of the motivations of its use.




Deadline extended!

The 3rd Language Documentation Training in Miyako, Okinawa

Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, TUFS

The deadline has been extended to 11/9 (in Japanese Standard Time).

-------------------------------------------------------------

Call for participants

We invite applications for participation in the 3rd Language Documentation Training Workshop in Miyako, Okinawa to be held in February 2017 (17th-23rd). This workshop series has been conducted by the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA). This workshop has been planned to provide training in language documentation in the local context. This is part of the effort to stimulate and support research on endangered languages spoken in Okinawa and also language documentation research in general. The workshop is designed for beginning researchers without much experience in working with Miyako and other Ryukyuan languages. We especially focus on the human aspects in working with the speakers and communities in Okinawa. A good command of conversational Japanese is required.

The application must arrive no later than 23:59pm, November 2, 2016 (in Japan Standard Time). 

Further information: Click here.

Application: Apply by filling out the online application form. 

For further information, please contact: Prof. Toshihide Nakayama Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS)

e-mail: nakayama [at] aa.tufs.ac.jp






Talks by East Asian Studies grad students (Japanese and Chinese):

Time: Oct 25 3:00-4:30 PM 
Place: Arts 501 (take the south stairs to get there)


1) V na (sasoo da: A survey-based study of evidential 'variants' in Japanese

Tetsuya Miyaguchi

In the Japanese language, it is known that when the evidential soo da ‘looks like’ connects to a negative predicate, an additional element sa occasionally appears between the negative marker and soo da, giving rise to two different forms, na soo da and na sa soo da. An example is shown below:

     ame ga fura-na (sa) soo da
     rain NOM fall-NEG
     ‘It looks like it’s not going to rain.’

While previous studies consider that na soo da and na sa soo da do not differ in meaning or use, seeing them simply as ‘variants,’ these two forms actually seem to give somewhat different impressions. In the case of na sa soo da, it sounds as if the speaker is speaking with some form of certainty, while on the other hand na soo da sounds as if the speaker is speaking based on their intuition.

This study looks into the possibility that the so-called ‘variants’ na soo da and na sa soo da actually differ in meaning and, therefore, in use. With my hypothesis that ‘visual evidence’ and ‘time to process information’ play some roles in the choice between na soo da and na sa soo da, I will use a questionnaire survey to look at how speakers actually choose between the two forms in the contexts involving these factors. Based on the results, I will show that na soo da and na sa soo da may be used differently according to these factors.


2) The Usage of Third-Person Pronoun ta in Chinese Social Media

Kerry Sluchinski

Pronouns are a functionally diverse category of human language used every day. They not only function as reference, but also reflect the societal values of language users. This research focuses on the use of a non-standard form of third-person pronoun in Chinese social media. There are three third person singular pronouns in Mandarin Chinese: 他 (ta‘he’),  她 (ta ‘she’), and  它 (ta ‘it’). Although they have different written forms, their pronunciations are identical (ta). The romanized (alphabetic) form of this pronunciation as ta in Chinese social media is considered a non-standard spelling of the homophonic grapheme type for third person singular pronouns.

There are three variants of the non-standard spelling ta: TA, ta, and Ta. The research examines (i) The linguistic environment of the variants of ta (TA,Ta,ta), and (ii) The interactional usage of these variants. The study aims to uncover any interrelatedness between the linguistic environment and the usage of each variant. The study is conducted by both qualitative and quantitative analyses of data obtained on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo (the equivalent of Twitter in China).

Examination of the data shows that ta is designed by users to exploit its gender ambiguity property to achieve a variety of interactional purposes. Institutional accounts utilize ta in advertisements/promotional texts to appeal to a larger consumer audience instead of specifying gender.  Interactional functions of referential ambiguity and simultaneous referencing such as these are possible due to the inherently gender-ambiguous property of  ta in the ta phenomenon. Results also lead the study to conclude that ta is a pragmatic device used to facilitate immediacy, thus resulting in personalization and engagement.

Key Words: Semantics, Mediated Discourse, Language Variation, Pronouns, Immediacy




CLASS OFFERED WINTER 2017: JAPANESE SOCIOLINGUISTICS




Congratulations to our Graduate Student!

Our own Tetsuya Miyaguchi has successfully defended his thesis, soon to receive a Master of Arts in Japanese Language and Literature. His thesis is entitled:

    V na (sa) soo da: A survey-based study of evidential 'variants' in Japanese




Master of Arts degree in East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta

The Department of East Asian Studies at the UofA is accepting applicants for their Masters graduate program. Students can choose to focus on any of the following areas:


Chinese Linguistics/Pedagogy

Japanese Linguistics/Pedagogy

Ryukyuan Linguistics

 

Funding is available to students, usually in the form of teaching assistantships. 

The deadline to apply to the graduate program for Fall 2017 entry is 15 January 2017 

For more information visit http://www.eastasianstudies.ualberta.ca/en/GraduatePrograms.aspx

 or

contact: eastasia.grad@ualberta.ca 




Pre-announcement: short language documentation training on Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan


We will be conducting a short fieldwork training workshop focusing on one of the Ryukyuan languages, Miyako, on Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan. This workshop has been planned as part of the Linguistic Dynamics Science Project 3 (LingDy3) at ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, to stimulate and support research in language documentation. Please note that the focus of this training workshop is on working with the community for the purpose of documenting endangered languages, not on data collection for linguistic theorization. The main target of the workshop is advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. Details will be announced soon, but we plan to cover the basics of working on an endangered language in the community where it is still spoken. People skills are strongly emphasized. If you are interested in participating in the workshop, pre-register at https://goo.gl/forms/iHSNKoIs4Qa4PsTU2 so that we can inform you when the detailed application information becomes available. If you have questions, please direct them to Toshihide Nakayama <nakayama@aa.tufs.ac.jp>.


Target participants: Advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students without fieldwork experience. We are aiming for 5 to 7 total participants. A good command of spoken Japanese is required.


Conducted by: Toshihide Nakayama (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) and Tsuyoshi Ono (University of Alberta)


Where: Miyakojima, Japan


When: 6-7 days between mid to late February 2017 (most likely February17-23)


Fees: no registration fee; no tuition required


Cost: You are responsible for the transportation cost to Miyako Island, lodging and food costs. We will, however, try to keep the lodging and food costs reasonable by making arrangements for shared accommodation and self-catering.






Here's what happened in the summer of 2016:

August 
Symposium The Emergence of Units in Social Interaction at the University of Helsinki


 


July
CoLang 2016 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
You can see the outcome of Miyako Practicum.




May-June
Another trip to Ikema
No typhoon this time!



 



Talk by our recent graduate Honoka Takei:




Review of Usage-based Approaches to Japanese Grammar: Toward the Understanding of Human Language  by Kabata and Ono (2014) Available Now

    A review of the above volume by our very own lab director Dr. Tsuyoshi Ono is now available for download on the Research Output page. Scroll to 
    the bottom to find the PDF version.





December 2015 Miyako Language Documentation Workshop

   Another successful workshop with a group of fine young academics. 
   Almost half of the lab was able to join us this year!

   Exciting new resources are being developed for the communities thanks
   to the participants this year.








Congratulations to our Graduate Student!


   Our beloved Honoka Takei has successfully defended her thesis, soon to receive a Masters of Arts in Japanese
   Language and Literature. Her thesis is entitled:

An Investigation of Direct Object Coding System in Ikema dialect of Miyako

   We send her our biggest congratulations and look forward to seeing where her work leads in the future!




Short Presentations on Chinese Linguistics by East Asian grad students:

    Come learn about Chinese linguistic phenomenon from a few of the graduate students in the department! 

    Gaisha Oralova
    Chinese Response Tokens

    Kerry Sluchinski
    The Usage of Homophonic Graphemes in Chinese Social Media: Third-Person Pronoun ta




    When: 3:00PM November 27, 2015
    Where: Spoken Discourse Research Studio, Arts 501 (access via the south stairwell)





Talk by Linguistics Graduate student Yoichi Mukai: Rhythm of read and spontaneous speech in Japanese and English


        Looking for something to motivate your studies over reading week? Come see Yoichi present research he has been working tirelessly at to stimulate your          
        studies and linguistic passions.

        As always, coffee and cookies will be available!
        All are welcome!

        When: November 12 at 4PM
        Where: ARTS 501




ANNOUNCEMENT: Applications open for CoLang / In-Field 2016



  
        
         2016 is around the corner, and so is the next Institute of Collaborative Language Research, which will be held at University of Alaska Fairbanks. This is a unique opportunity to network with linguists from around the world, from undergraduates to professors. Workshops range from basic linguistic instruction to unique seminars specifically targeted at field method troubleshooting and working with communities. All are welcome to apply! This year is particularly significant for SDRS as Dr.  Ono and Dr. Nakayama will be holding a three week field methods practica on Miyako, bringing a speaker to work with all those interested. The deadline to apply is January 15! Come join us! 

Visit the UAF website for more information: http://www.alaska.edu/colang2016/









CLASS OFFERED WINTER 2016: JAPANESE SOCIOLINGUISTICS
















The 2nd Language Documentation Training in Miyako, Okinawa
Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, TUFS

Call for participants

We invite applications for participation in the 2nd Language Documentation Training Workshop in Miyako, Okinawa to be held in December 2015. This workshop series has been conducted by the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA). This workshop has been planned to provide training in language documentation in the local context. This is part of the effort to stimulate and support research on endangered languages spoken in Okinawa and also language documentation research in general. The workshop is designed for beginning researchers without much experience in working with Miyako and other Ryukyuan languages.

1. Dates: December 16 - 22, 2015

2. Program: The goal of this workshop is to provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in various aspects of language documentation research:

● Collection of data for basic linguistic analyses
● Collection of natural discourse data
● Analysis of basic linguistic structure
● Processing and management of linguistic data

Instructors: Toshihide Nakayama (ILCAA, TUFS) and Tsuyoshi Ono (U of Alberta)

3. Venue: Ikema Island, Miyakojima, Okinawa

4. Target participants: Advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students without fieldwork experience or knowledge of Miyako and other Ryukyuan languages. A good command of conversational Japanese is required.

5. Selection: Depending on the number of applicants, prior screening will be held based on the application form (see 8. below).

6. Number of participants: About 8 people will be selected from the applications.

7. Participation fee: There is no registration fee or tuition. However, participants are responsible for their transportation cost to Miyakojima and lodging and food costs. We will try to keep the lodging and food costs reasonable by making arrangements for shared lodging and self-cooking.

8. Application: Please apply by filling out the online application form at URL: http://bit.ly/1ADubMU

9. Deadline for applications: The application must arrive no later than 23:59pm, September 25, 2015 (in Japan Standard Time).

10. Notification of selection: We will notify applicants of the results in the first week of October 2015.

11. For further information, please contact:

Prof. Toshihide Nakayama Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS)
e-mail: nakayama [at] aa.tufs.ac.jp



Pre-announcement: short language documentation training on Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan

We will be conducting a short fieldwork training workshop focusing on one of the Ryukyuan languages, Miyako, on Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan. This workshop has been planned as part of  the Linguistic Dynamics Science Project (LingDy) at ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, to stimulate and support research in language documentation. Please note that the focus of this training workshop is on working with the community for the purpose of documenting endangered languages, not on data collection for linguistic theorization. The main target of the workshop is advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. Details will be announced soon, but we plan to cover the basics of working on an endangered language in the community where it is still spoken. People skills are strongly emphasized. If you are interested in participating in the workshop, pre-register at http://bit.ly/1hhg4KI so that we can inform you when the detailed application information becomes available. If you have questions, please direct thm to Toshihide Nakayama <nakayama@aa.tufs.ac.jp>.

Target participants: Advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students without fieldwork experience. We are aiming for 5 to 10 total participants. A good command of spoken Japanese is required.

Conducted by: Toshihide Nakayama (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) and Tsuyoshi Ono (University of Alberta)

Where: Miyakojima, Japan

When: 5-7 days between early December 2015 and early January 2016 (specific dates will be announced soon)

Fees: no registration fee; no tuition required

Cost: You are responsible for the transportation cost to Miyako Island, lodging and food costs. We will, however, try to keep the lodging and food costs reasonable by making arrangements for shared accomodation and self-catering.




Announcement for Fall 2015: EASIA 456/556 Languages and Culture of the Ryukyus

Dr. Ono will once again be offering his informative seminar class on Ryukyuan language and culture, including insight into his own research process, offering a unique introduction to linguistic field work. This course is available at both the undergraduate and graduate level. 







Presentation at Nagoya University

This past Monday, February 2, Hakuho Foundation Japanese research fellow  (博報財団国際日本研究フェロー) and our very own director, Dr. Tsuyoshi Ono, gave a presentation at Nagoya University on researching spoken discourse in linguistics, titled 「話しことばの言語学をめざして」.
Dr. Ono joined the ranks of recent physics Nobel Prize winners, Dr. Isamu Akasaki and Dr. Hiroshi Amano, who presented on their recent invention of blue LEDs. At last linguistics has achieved some "real" research.
   





Field Training in Language Documentation Workshop in Miyako, Okinawa
The workshop held by Dr. Nakayama in Miyako this past December was a great success, bringing together graduates, undergraduates and professors from all around the globe to collaborate and gain valuable insights into the process of language documentation. 

From its beautiful beaches to its vast sugarcane fields, both the islands of Ikema and Miyako offered a glorious natural setting for this workshop to take place.

Thanks to our undergraduate participants we were able to enjoy a wide array of international foods, including authentic Japanese, Chinese, and Polish cuisine! Community members also taught us how to make a traditional pancake of the area, known as popo, which was filled with delicious handmade miso.  

We would like to thank the communities on Ikema and Miyako who volunteered much of their time and effort to help make this a success! This was a learning experience for us all. Thank you for sharing your culture, your generosity and your language. 

                                      






Master of Arts degree in East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta

The Department of East Asian Studies at the UofA is accepting applicants for their Masters graduate program. Students can choose to focus on any of the following areas:

    Chinese Linguistics/Pedagogy

    Chinese Literature

    Japanese Linguistics/Pedagogy

    Japanese Cultural Studies

    East Asian Art History

    East Asian Religion

    East Asian Studies


Funding is available  to students, usually in the form of teaching assistantships.

The deadline to apply to the graduate program for Fall 2015 entry is 15 January 2015 

                                                           or contact: dfried@ualberta.ca (Daniel Fried, Associate Chair--Graduate).




Helsinki Workshop and Symposium - The Questions of Units in Language and Interaction
  
Lab Director, Dr. Tsuyoshi Ono, has recently attended and presented at The Questions of Units in Language and Interaction workshop, held from September 8-12 in Helsinki, Finland. This was a joint project between the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the Acadamy of Finland.


  




















Congratulations to our Graduate Student!


   Our masters student, Peng Qiu, has just successfully defended her thesis in her Masters of Arts in Japanese
   Language and Literature. Her thesis is entitled:

   A Preliminary Investigation of Yilan Creole in Taiwan: Discussing predicate position in Yilan Creole

   We send her our biggest congratulations and look forward to seeing where her work leads in this community over
   the years to come!




Upcoming language documentation training on Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan (Apply by 9/13/2014)

Join Professor Toshihide Nakayama of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies on Miyako for a unique field training opportunity.

We will be conducting a short language documentation training workshop focusing on one of the Ryukyuan languages, Miyako, on Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan. This workshop has been planned as part of the activity of the Linguistic Dynamics Science Project (LingDy) at ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, to stimulate and support research in language documentation. The main target of the workshop is advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students, and we plan to cover the basics of working on an endangered language in the community where it is still spoken. Both linguistics and people skills are emphasized. If you would like to participate in the workshop, apply at <http://bit.ly/1pbFTI3> by September 13, 2014. We can only accommodate a limited number of participants, and applicants will be notified of the outcome immediately after the closing date. If you have questions, please direct them to Toshihide Nakayama< nakayama@aa.tufs.ac.jp>.

Target participants: Advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students without fieldwork experience or knowledge of Miyako and other Ryukyuan languages. We are targeting 5 to 10 total participants. A good command of Japanese is required.

Conducted by: Professor Toshihide Nakayama (ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)

Where: Miyakojima, Japan

When: December 17th-22nd  (need to arrive at Miyako Island by the evening of Dec. 16 and stay 
at least till the evening of Dec. 22). We are prepared to assist with travel arrangements.

Fees: no registration fee; no tuition required

Cost: You are responsible for the transportation cost to Miyako Island and lodging and food costs.
We will, however, try to keep the lodging and food costs reasonable by making arrangements 
for shared lodging and self-cooking.









     




      Congratulations!!

                to our graduate student Peng Qiu, who recently gave a talk and won first prize at the 2014 International 
                Symposium on Language, History, and Society: Global Perspectives on the Asia-Pacific Region 2014
                文史與社會國際論壇:「全球視野下的亞太The symposium is held annually, this year at the 
                National Normal University of Taiwan. Her paper was entitled The Preliminary Investigation of Grammar in Yilan Creole. 








Upcoming Talk

UofA masters alumnus, Ross Krekoski, has generously offered to give a talk on his current research and the ins and outs of life as a graduate student in the field of linguistics. Below are the details of the talk, join us for this opportunity, (plus coffee and cookies!) 

        On formally undecidable 'fragments' of speech and other speech-like systems, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the incompleteness theorem
        Thursday August 21, 3PM

        ARTS 501

Slides for the talk can be found on the Events page



Just published! 

Kabata, Kaori and Tsuyoshi Ono. eds. 2014. Usage-based approaches to Japanese grammar: Towards the understanding of human language. Amsterdam: Benjamins.



   June 16 - July 27

   Tsuyoshi Ono, Honoka Takei, and Catherine Ford participated in CoLang 2014: Institute on Collaborative Language Research
   This workshop focused on field methods, documentation and topics concerning the revitalization of indigenous languages.