Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, B

Kimi AKITA Associate Professor

Department: Graduate School of Languages and Cultures

Class Time: 2015 Fall Thursday
Recommended for: Graduate Students

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h3>Course Overview

In this course we will learn and compare different theories explaining the relationship of syntax and semantics such as Lexical-Conceptual Semantics, Construction Grammar, Frame Semantics, and the Generative Lexicon. Generally, synonyms exhibit similar syntactic behavior. For example, both "break" and "cut" are used as transitive verbs. The relationship between syntax and semantics might seem simple at first glance but is in fact incredibly complicated. Several theories have attempted to explain this relationship and new ones are continuously being put forward to bring about a better understanding. In this class we will examine those competing theories and by doing so study the theoretical frameworks of linguistics.

More specifically, we will study:



  • How to make specific case studies in individual languages (e.g., a cognitive-linguistic study of Japanese verbs) linguistically meaningful
  • How to find new correlations or concepts using linguistic theories.
  • How to critically compare and contrast different theories
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    h3>Key Features

    There are certain prerequisites to writing linguistic papers and dissertations. However, most introductory books to linguistic theories are published in English and remain inaccessible to students who study Japanese linguistics. Hence we will help the students in the following ways:



    • To provide Japanese references whenever possible.
    • To give interesting examples, such as onomatopoeia, slang, and puns.
    • To invite renowned scholars from outside the university.

    Homework assignments

    • Encourage students to apply the theories learned in class to their own research topics or to their native languages
    • Allow co-authored submission
    • Provide detailed feedback


    • Update and share PowerPoint slides via Dropbox based on in-class discussions.
    • Since the lecture is held on the last period of the day, students are free to continue discussion after class hours.
    • Office hours = by appointment 7 days a week

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    close Syllabus

    Class Structure

    1. Introduction and background of the day's topic (10 min)
    2. Paper review (20-30 min)
    3. Discussion on the previous assignment (20-30 min)
    4. Further discussion (20 min)
    5. Homework assignment

    In addition to the main themes, the following methodologies will also be introduced:

    1. How to make effective slides
    2. How to write an abstract to apply for a conference presentation
    3. How to search for academic resources
    4. Procedures of the field of linguistics

    Evaluation Criteria

    • Review of research papers (30%)
    • Homework and participation in discussion (40%)
    • Final report (30%)

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    Page last updated July 5, 2016

    The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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