Division of Behavioral Studies


The Department of Linguistics was founded in 1908 and is one of the oldest linguistics departments in Japan. It has pursued General linguistic research in the areas of theoretical linguistics, descriptive linguistics, field linguistics, language documentation, historical comparative linguistics, along with individual studies on specific languages based on these theoretical foundations.

Lectures and seminars are given selectively on the above areas and include topics such as descriptive linguistics, field linguistics, comparative linguistics, phonology, phonetics, morphology, syntax and studies on languages/language families as Sino-Tibetan, Semitic, Eskimo, Altaic, Indo-European, Papuan, various African languages, Ryukyuan and Japanese. Foreign language courses are given mainly for Asian and African languages such as Korean, Burmese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Arabic, Persian, Indonesian, Tamil, Swahili and others. Fields outside the staff’s areas of expertise are covered by part-time lecturers from other universities.

Undergraduate and graduate students attend their respective lectures, though some lectures are open to both. Each graduate student is required to submit at least one paper a year.

The faculty members, students and graduates organize the Kyoto University Linguistic Circle, which holds three meetings a year at which lectures and papers on various topics are presented. The journal Linguistic Research, edited by graduate students, is annually published by the department.

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YOSHIDA, Kazuhiko Prof. Indo-European historical linguistics; Hittite; General linguistics
YOSHIDA, Yutaka Prof. Iranian linguistics; Middle Iranian philology; Silk Road studies
SADANOBU, Toshiyuki Prof. Spoken Japanese
TIDA, Syuntaro Assoc. Prof. Papuan Linguistics; Korean
CATT, Adam Lecturer Historical Linguistics; Indo-Irarian, Indo-European