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Focus 1+2: Introduction to Japanese linguistics


PLEASE NOTE: This course is given as a FAT course in block I in September and October, meeting twice a week. The final exam will be held in the midterm exam week.

Admission requirements

Japanese language proficiency: low intermediate level.


This course offers a brief introduction to a wide range of topics in Japanese linguistics, including: sound system, vocabulary and word structure, word meaning, writing system, sentence structure, and use and functions of Japanese in relation to social structures and interpersonal relationships.

Course objectives

Students will gain:
(1) A basic understanding of these fields of Japanese linguistics and terminology used within them;
(2) An ability to discuss problems related to the structure and use of Japanese;
(3) A basic ability to analyse some aspects of written and spoken language by working on short assignments.


Thursdays from 9-11, for more information, check time table.

Mode of instruction

Seminar (werkcollege).

Assessment method

– Participation element (attendance, participation, presentation & presentation write-up): 30% – Analytical element (analytical exercises): 20% – Research paper (2,000-2,500 words): 30% – Final exam: 20%


Course notes, slides, syllabus, schedules, assignments, instructions, links, required readings, etc. see Blackboard

Reading list

  1. Yamaguchi, Toshiko, 2007. Japanese Linguistics – An Introduction, Continuum. ISBN: 0826487904 (NB: subject to change, if a new book available by the beginning of 2012; for more information contact the instructor)
    1. Additional readings to be announced in the beginning of the course


Through uSis.
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Please contact Mw. Dr. R.J. Länsisalmi.


Students not majoring in Japanese Studies should contact the instructor first.
PLEASE NOTE: This course is given as a FAT course: From sept-oct. twice a week.
EXAM is held in the midterm exam week