International Symposium on

Issues in Japanese Psycholinguistics

from Comparative Perspectives

Dates and venue

Saturday, September 11th & Sunday, September 12th, 2021, online


Psycholinguistic studies of the Japanese language have contributed greatly to the field from a cross-linguistic perspective. However, the target languages for comparison have been limited. Most research focuses on English and a few other typologically similar European languages, which are nominative-accusative and subject-before-object languages, as is Japanese. As a result, many current theories of psycholinguistics fail to acknowledge the nature of ergative-absolutive and/or object-before-subject languages and treat the nature of nominative-accusative subject-before-object languages as though they are universal to human language. A detailed consideration of the language processing stages of more diverse languages (in addition to familiar languages), in comparison with Japanese, is essential to elucidate the universality and individuality of human language processing and to correctly situate Japanese among global languages.

The cross-linguistic approach is not the only method of comparison in psycholinguistics. Other prominent comparative aspects include, but not limited to, comprehension vs. production, prosodic vs. syntactic processing, syntactic vs. semantic processing, semantic vs. pragmatic processing, native speakers vs. second language learners, typical development vs. development of language by people with autism spectrum disorder, typical vs. aphasic language development, and language vs. memory. Comparative studies have proved to be fruitful in elucidating the nature of various components of human cognition as well as how they interact with each other. Many of these approaches are underrepresented in Japanese psycholinguistics.

The International Symposium on Issues in Japanese Psycholinguistics from Comparative Perspectives (IJPCP) 2021 attempts to fill these gaps. Using various experimental and/or computational techniques, the papers to be presented in this symposium address issues of the universality/diversity of the human language and the nature of the relationship between human cognitive modules, with special reference to the mechanisms in which languages are processed and represented in the mind and brain.


  • The Field-based Approaches to Language, Cognition, and Human Nature (FALCOHN) Project (JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 19H05589)

  • NINJAL Collaborative Research Project ‘Cross-linguistic Studies of Japanese Prosody and Grammar’


  • Advanced Institute for Yotta Informatics (AI Yotta), Tohoku University, Japan