Exploring the Nature of Humanity Based on a Multifaceted Approach to Language Research

Linguistic sciences, which have been experiencing rapid progress in recent years, are expanding the range of phenomena that can be analyzed and explained, with the potential for further internal breakthroughs. In the Department of Linguistics, students are guided by the belief that the study of the language (English, German, French, Hispanic, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese) they are specializing in is inseparable from the study of general linguistic theory.

At the same time, the department has been enhancing applied language research related to general language theory, such as language education and research on speech-language pathology. Another feature of our program is that we have created an environment that provides intellectual stimulation for developing research by inviting prominent scholars from various fields and accepting outstanding students from Japan and abroad. The fruit of these efforts is that, many of our graduates are active in a wide range of educational institutions.


In the Master’s Program, students learn the foundational concepts and methods of linguistics based on their knowledge of their major language, write a master’s thesis on a specific area, and acquire research and thesis-writing skills. The primary objective of the Doctoral Program is to prepare a doctoral dissertation in three years. Entrance examinations comprise submitting a research plan and an interview, and selection is based on the suitability and feasibility of the plan’s content.

Granted Degree


Available Teaching Licenses and Subjects

  • Junior High School Specialized Teacher (English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese)
  • High School Specialized Teacher (English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese)

*1 A teacher’s license is only available in the Master’s Program. Also, it is only available in subjects in which a Type 1 license has been obtained or the requirements for Type 1 have been fulfilled. Not all subjects are available.

*2 Except for the Speech-Language and Hearing Research Course and the Japanese Language Education Course. In addition, students can obtain a license only for subjects related to their major language.

Program Features

Various Courses are Offered

The program offers a wide variety of courses, including the required courses “Foundations of Phonetics& Phonology” and “Foundations of Syntax,” as well as courses in applied linguistics and sociolinguistics. We nurture researchers with a wide range of backgrounds.

Take Courses Outside of Your Area of Specialization

In the Doctoral Program, students can take courses outside of their major field of study in order to deepen their knowledge of their major language and the system underlying their field of specialization, while at the same time developing observational and analytical skills that are not limited to a particular area of study.

3 courses

Speech-Language and Hearing Research Course

The Speech-Language and Hearing Research Course aims to train leaders and researchers with a broad perspective and rich sense of humanity through subjects ranging from basic theory to clinical practice (therapeutic education and rehabilitation) on communication disorders. By completing designated courses, students can obtain qualifications to sit for the national examination for Speech Language-Hearing-Therapists.

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Course

This course is designed for current English teachers and those who wish to be involved in English education in the future, with the goal of developing more advanced practical skills based on theoretical knowledge of English teaching. All required credits can be earned in English.

Japanese Language Education Course

This course is designed for those who are interested in working in Japanese language education. Students will consider effective ways to teach Japanese language while conducting research on Japanese language acquisition. Students may also take subjects from other courses within the Graduate School. In addition, students can learn through practice as teaching assistants for Japanese language education on campus or as Japanese language instructors for international students. There are also opportunities to interact with students in Japanese language programs at overseas universities.

Selected Thesis Topics

Master’s Thesis

  • Conversations in Context: Exploring L1 Japanese Speakers in Different Types of L2 English Conversations
  • Investigating the impact of Motivational Strategies on the learners’ motivation in light of students’ reflective journals
  • A Genuine Explanation of Parasitic Gaps
  • Reconsidering English Grammar Instruction in Japan: From the Perspective of Kikokushijo Students
  • Estratégias de tradução de obras da literatura brasileira para a línguajaponesa-Do ponto de vista da Estrangeirização e da Domesticação-
  • Varied Impressions: A Retrospective Look at the English Language Teachers and English Language Learning Experiences of Japanese Students
  • Examining Effects of Learner Perfectionism on L2 Writing Performance and Self-assessment About the Writing Performance
  • Developing CLIL Lessons in Japanese High School: A Textbook Analysis of English Communication Ⅰ
  • Sentence Processing of Shita and Saseta Postposed to Sino-Japanese Verbs by L1 Chinese Learners of Japanese: From the Perspectives of the Competition Model and the Contrastive Analysis Between Japanese and Chinese
  • Exploring the Potential Effects of Vocabulary Learning Strategies on Productive Vocabulary Use in L2 Writing: A Case of Japanese EFL University Students
  • To Translanguage or Not to Translanguage: Acquisition of English as a Third Language in Two Junior High School Students With Brazilian Roots in Japan
  • A Comparative Study on Language Assessment Literacy of Turkish and Japanese In-service English Teachers
  • Emotional Experiences and Identity Formation of Novice EFL Teachers: Narratives of a Chinese and a Japanese Teacher of English
  • Los discursos sobre el dialecto andaluz en YouTube: un estudio crítico sobre identidades e ideologías lingüísticas
  • The Use of L1 in Online EFL Classrooms: Teachers’ Practices and Learners’ Perspectives in the Case of Higher Education in Vietnam
  • An Exploratory Study on the Relationship between L2 Reading Motivation and L2 Reading Strategies
  • Focus on Form Instructions in Communicative Content-based Lessons in a Senior High School in Japan- A Case of an Experienced Teacher and Intermediate Students in an EFL Classroom
  • The Use of L1 in the Japanese and Uzbek University Contexts: From the students’ perspectives
  • Vocabulary Retention under Four Different Conditions: The Effectiveness of Translation, Definition, Synonym, and Stems and Affixes
  • 聴覚障害のある児童生徒の擬音語・擬態語の理解について
  • 幼児期における他者の認識内容についての理解と言語発達
  • 幼児の読みの発達と音韻意識の関係 ― 流暢性に焦点を当てて ―
  • 「黙読」と「読み上げ音声を聞きながらの黙読」という読みのモードの違いが内容理解の促進に与える影響について
  • 非流暢性失語症者の発話におけるMelodic Intonation Therapy日本語版の効果の検討
  • 日英バイリンガルのアイデンティティとことばの使い分け ― ナラティブを用いた事例紹介と考察 ―
  • 初対面雑談における日本語学習者の話題展開の構造 ― 学習者の内省データを含めた考察 ―
  • 高機能自閉スペクトラム症のある子どもの感情語理解 ― 感覚との関連から ―
  • JSL 環境が日本語学習者の動機づけに与える影響についての検討 ― 動機減退とそこからの回復に着目して ―
  • 日本語学校留学生のモチベーションの変化に関する一考察 ― 言語ポートレートとダイアリー・スタディを用いて ―

Doctor’s Thesis

  • The Impact of High-Stakes Assessments on Parents-The Case of China’s National Matriculation English Test
  • Pre-fortis Clipping Pattern: A Cross Linguistic Examination of L2 English Production and Perception by Asian Learners of English
  • Diffusion of Innovations for Team-Taught Soft CLIL: An Ethnographic Case Study of Japanese Secondary Schools
  • L3 Perception of Mandarin Liquid Consonants by Japanese Native Speakers: The Effect of L2 Experience
  • 訂正フィードバックによるフォーカス・オン・フォームの効果 ― 広東語を母語とする香港の日本語学習者への長短母音の指導を通して ―

Educational Policies

Master’s Program

With an aim to foster human resources who endeavor to achieve Sophia’s purpose of establishment and mission by exploring language, the most fundamental human ability, the Master’s Program in Linguistics sets standards for the skills and knowledge students should acquire before graduation as described below:

Those who fulfill the graduation requirements and pass their thesis defense shall be deemed to have acquired these qualities and will be awarded a diploma.

  1. An understanding of the current status of linguistics studies and methodologies acquired by taking required courses in various fields from the first year to establish one’s field of expertise
  2. The ability to appropriately turn unresolved issues into research questions
  3. The ability to conduct the collection and analysis of data most appropriate for problem-solving and to find a meaningful solution
  4. The ability to acquire the fundamental theories and methodologies of linguistics from a wide perspective, to learn how to think academically and to pursue a particular field of expertise
  5. The ability to give meaning to outcomes and contribute to society by harnessing one’s expertise

Doctoral Program

With an aim to foster human resources who endeavor to achieve Sophia’s purpose of establishment and mission by deeply and broadly exploring language, the most fundamental human ability, the Doctoral Program in Linguistics sets standards for the skills and knowledge students should acquire before graduation as described below: Those who fulfill the graduation requirements and pass their dissertation defense shall be deemed to have acquired these qualities and will be awarded a diploma.

  1. The ability to conduct original research and compile an academic paper based on the methodologies and knowledge of ones field of expertise acquired in the Master’s program
  2. The academic ability to independently perform sophisticated research
  3. The ability to complete an academic paper of a globally competitive level as an independent researcher who is well-learned in highly specialized theories and methodologies of linguistics and associated sciences

Master’s Program

In accordance with the diploma policy, with an aim to make an in-depth academic observation of language and linguistics, the Master’s Program in Linguistics constructs its curriculum with courses aligned to the following purposes:

  1. Have students acquire basic knowledge of language and linguistics regardless of their expertise. Therefore, the following courses are designated Compulsory Courses under the respective programs and should be taken during the first year: 1) Linguistics in General: Basic Phonetics and Phonology, Basic Syntactic Theory; 2) Speech-Language Pathology: Topics in Speech and Language Disorders, Research Methods for Speech and Language Disorders B (Experiment Planning Methodologies), Research Methods for Speech and Language Disorders D (Literature Reading); 3) English Teaching Methods: Introduction to TEFL in Japan Second Language Acquisition Introduction to Linguistics; 4) Japanese Education: Japanese Grammar Teaching I, Second Language Acquisition. Language/Culture/Society, Introduction to Japanese Teaching Methods.
  2. Offer courses related to Phonetics, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Writing Styles and History of seven languages, English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese.
  3. Have students take the abovementioned Compulsory and Elective Courses to acquire the skills required to pursue specialized themes in each division, including theoretical knowledge, the ability to apply theory, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, the ability to collect, analyze and interpret appropriate data and the ability to generalize individual data to construct theory.

Doctoral Program

In accordance with the diploma policy, with an aim to make an in-depth academic observation of language and linguistics, the Master’s Program in Linguistics constructs its curriculum with courses aligned to the following purposes:

  1. Have students select a specific theme from Theoretical Linguistics, including Phonetics and Phonology, Speech and Language Disorder Studies, and Applied Linguistics and have them receive research guidance in personal meetings with a specific professor.
  2. Have students engage in unique research by not only further pursuing their respective specialized research but also incorporating knowledge of associated fields, thus enhancing their expert knowledge in liberal arts and academic expertise.
  3. Require students to take and pass certification exams during their second year and publish 2 academic papers in peer-reviewed academic journals.
  4. Have students receive research guidance mainly from their research advisor and have them take courses offered by the Doctoral Program in Linguistics and required by the research advisor.

Master’s Program

The Master’s Program in Linguistics seeks students with the following qualities:

  1. Students with academic interest in one of the following fields of linguistics: Theoretical Linguistics, Individual Linguistics (English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese), Applied Linguistics, Speech-Language-Hearing Disorders, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and Japanese education. Students who wish to enroll in the Program in Speech-Language-Hearing-Disorders can aim to acquire qualification to take the national exam for Speech-Language-Hearing Therapists
  2. Students who possess the will to further develop academic and cultural knowledge of their disciplinary specialties, as well as the will to produce unique research outcomesand return findings to society
  3. Students who major in Theoretical Linguistics, Individual Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) are required to compile their thesis in a foreign language (international students majoring in Japanese Education are required to write their thesis in Japanese, which is foreign to them); and therefore, students who possess foreign language skills that are adequate for the completion of their thesis


The Doctoral Program in Linguistics seeks students with the following qualities:

  1. Students with a clear vision of the research theme for their dissertation based on their research during the Master’s program
  2. Students who will take their research further in their disciplinary specialties, incorporate findings in associated fields and enhance their cultural and academic knowledge to perform unique research
  3. Students who will present their research at academic meetings and submit articles to academic journals, have acquired the ability to autonomously pursue their research and aim to acquire a degree while they are enrolled

Faculty Members

General Linguistics, Theoretical Linguistics

Shinichi AKIYAMA Professor

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Atsushi ICHINOSE Professor

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Mafuyu KITAHARA Professor

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Herve COUCHOT Professor

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Ryosuke TAKAHASHI Professor

Simon TUCHAIS Professor

Kimiyo NISHIMURA Professor

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Shinichi MURATA Professor

Nobuyoshi ADEGAWA Associate Professor

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Takaomi KATO Associate Professor

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Applied Linguistics, English Teaching Methodology, Japanese Language Education

Shinichi IZUMI Professor

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Kaoru KOYANAGI Professor

Takafumi SHIMIZU Professor

Lisa FAIRBROTHER Professor

Research Areas [ Language Management Theory,intercultural interaction,sociolinguistics,discourse analysis,conversation analysis,power,race,English as a lingua franca ] Current research focuses on multilingual workplaces,language policy and study abroad issues.
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Angela LIPSKY Professor

Yoshinori WATANABE Professor

Aingeru AROZ Associate Professor

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Gota SAYAMA Associate Professor

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Antonio DONAS Associate Professor

Research Areas [ History of the Spanish language,Latin language and literature,Medieval and early modern literature,History of thought ] My current research focuses on the philological study of medieval and early modern literary and religious documents.
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Itsuki NAGASAWA Associate Professor

Gavin FURUKAWA Associate Professor

Research Areas [ Global Englishes,sociolinguistics language ideologies,mediatized discourse,gender,contact languages ] Current research focuses on gender,sexuality,and discourse in personal history narratives and social media.
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Robert MACINTYRE Associate Professor

Research Areas [ Metadiscourse,writing pedagogy,the use of corpora in education,reflective practice in teacher training ] Current research focuses on the efficacy of teaching metadiscourse in academic writing.
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Speech and Hearing Disorders

Hiroyo YOSHIHATA Professor

Keiko HARA Associate Professor

Sophia University

For Others, With Others