Welcome to Japanese: A Linguistic Introduction Home Page!

Japanese: A Linguistic Introduction is intended to be a college-level reference book on the Japanese language that can also serve as the principal textbook in an introductory course in Japanese linguistics. It explains various linguistic phenomena organized by and in terms of analytical methods developed in the discipline of linguistics. I have endeavored to maintain breadth of scope and intellectual depth sufficient and appropriate for a college course, including discussion of why certain linguistic phenomena are interesting or important and thus continue to be investigated.

The targeted readership includes undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the Japanese language and linguistics, instructors of Japanese, and researchers who wish to survey the field of Japanese linguistics.

To reinforce the reader’s comprehension, exercises and multimedia supplementary materials are available on this website. Many referenced works are also available online; their URLs are listed in the reference section of the book, although they might cease to exist at any time.

* * *

During the final phase of this book’s production, I was deeply grieved by the death of my long-time mentor, Professor Charles J. Fillmore. Professor Fillmore began his Japanese Linguistics Seminar at UC Berkeley in 1987, when I was a graduate student, and continued offering it until the summer of 2012, when his health had deteriorated. He acquired his fluency in the Japanese language while stationed in Kyoto after the Korean War. Following discharge from the military, he studied Japanese at Kyoto University. He proudly recited excerpts from classical Japanese literature. I fondly remember many discussions of the topics included in this book and his keen analyses in his low-keyed, warm voice.

February 2014

Yoko Hasegawa

ArrowBack to top

Cover Image: "Ryujin" origami art by Satoshi Kamiya.