Professor KOIZUMI Masatoshi

Affiliations :

  • Graduate School Faculty of Arts and Letters
  • Division of Department of Integrated Human Sciences
  • Psychology and Linguistics Course
  • Department of Linguistics

I research language and thinking processes

Since high school I wanted to become a physicist and to find out how the universe worked. Little by little, however, I became convinced that to discover the mechanisms of the universe we must first know how people perceive it – in other words, we must learn more about human cognitive ability (my great turn towards epistemology). I decided that the most effective way to do so would be through the ability unique to humans, that is, through language. Thus I set out to become a linguist (my great turn toward linguistics).
As a child I played baseball every day, but there were two other things I loved just as much: foreign countries and doing experiments. I used to take apart our old tube radio and then put it together again, or contact people from the other side of the planet via a self-made wireless transmitter for fun. My dream was to become a radio officer on a luxury liner and spend my life travelling around the world. Now I travel around carrying test equipment, collecting data for my research on language and thought. Maybe I am simply continuing my favorite activities as a child.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Courses
    Modern Linguistics (General Lecture); Linguistics (Advanced Seminar); Interlinguistics (Seminar); Linguistics Analysis (Advanced Seminar); Sign Language Basics
    Personal History
    Graduated from the College of Liberal Arts, International Christian University
    Completed the Master’s program in East Asian languages and literatures at the Graduate School, Ohio State University
    1995 Received a Ph.D. in linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    1995 Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Tohoku Gakuin University
    2000 Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Tohoku University
    Current position
    Linguistic Cognitive Neuroscience
    Research Subject
    1) Field-based cognitive psycholinguistic study of the discourse-processing mechanisms of OS-type languages;
    2) Study on pragmatic inferences
    Word order; syntactic structure; processing load; event cognition; Mayan languages; Kaqchikel Mayan language; Austronesian languages; Truku language; Tongan language; fMRI; NIRS; EEG; event-related potential (ERP); magnetoencephalography (MEG); eye tracking
    The Linguistic Society of Japan; Japanese Cognitive Science Society; Linguistic Society of America,Organization for Human Brain Mapping ,American Association for the Advancement of Science
    Database of Researchers Information
  • Books
    Phrase Structure in Minimalist Syntax、ひつじ書房、1999
    Academic Papers
    "Greater left inferior frontal activation for SVO than VOS during sentence comprehension in Kaqchikel," in Frontiers in Psychology 7: 1541, 2016(with Jungho Kim)
    "Interaction between syntactic structure and information structure in the processing of a head-final language," in Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 2016 (with Imamura Satoshi)
    "The processing cost of scrambling and topicalization in Japanese," in Frontiers in Psychology 7: 531, 2016(with Satoshi Imamura and Sato Yohei)
    "Is the subject-before-object preference universal? An ERP study in Kaqchikel Maya," in Language, Cognition and Neuroscience 30: 1209-1229, 2015(with Yasunaga Daichi, Yano Masataka and Yasugi Yoshiho)
    "On the (non)universality of the preference for subject-object word order in sentence comprehension: Asentence-processing study in Kaqchikel Maya," in Language 90: 722-736, 2014(with Yasugi Yoshiho, Tamaoka Katsuo, Kiyama Sachiko, Jungho Kim, Juan Esteban Ajsivinac Sian, and Lolmay Pedro Oscar García Mátzar.)
    2013 Best Presentation Award, The Linguistic Society of Japan
    2012 Tohoku University Award for Contribution to General Education