Division of Department of Integrated Human Sciences Department of Linguistics
“What is language?” We are searching in depth for the answer to the question
Linguistics tries to answer fundamental questions such as “What is human language, and how does it function?” Any language can become a subject of research, regardless of the number of speakers or the political and economic power behind it. One can of course settle on Japanese, but countless other options are available, from familiar English to almost unknown minor languages, and even sign language. While it is possible to study a single isolated language “as it is”, other approaches are available. For instance, you can trace the variations of language depending on the time period, region, social class, or communicative situation, or compare it with some other language. On the other hand, you can aim to deduce the universal traits of human language. As of late, many ambitious research projects have been started in the cutting-edge field of neurolinguistics, which aims to elucidate the mechanisms in the human brain responsible for the comprehension and production of language. All in all, neurolinguistics tries to explain how we are able to use language and why some people lose this ability.
We are waiting for students with strong interests in language and powerful imaginations to join our department.