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An Introduction to Japanese Linguistics [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Natsuko Tsujimura
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Paperback, Illustrated, Sept. 14 2006 --  

Book Description

Sept. 14 2006 1405110651 978-1405110655 2
The new edition of An Introduction to Japanese Linguistics gives an updated, comprehensive account of Japanese linguistics, covering phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language change, dialect variation, and gender differences.
  • Changes in the new edition include a new chapter on language acquisition, which includes experimental research and its implications for phonological, syntactic, and semantic issues
  • Introduces linguistic notions and terminology and discusses theoretical analyses of linguistic phenomena in the Japanese language
  • Focuses primarily on phonology and syntax, and adopts a generative grammar framework
  • Includes exercises exploring descriptive and theoretical issues and reading lists which introduce students to the research literature

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Review

"While maintaining the well-balanced coverage of Japanese linguistics of the earlier edition, Tsujimura manages to explore a variety of new issues in the experimental and applied areas. The well-chosen additional problem sets guide students towards important topics for future research." Junko Ito, University of California, Santa Cruz "This revised edition provides in-depth coverage of all areas of Japanese grammar and will be a valuable pedagogical and reference work for anyone interested in Japanese linguistics." Peter Sells, Stanford University "In this new edition, Tsujimura gives in-depth discussions of all major areas in Japanese linguistics, including recent discoveries and a whole new chapter on language acquisition." Haruo Kubozono, Kobe University, Japan.

Review

"While maintaining the well-balanced coverage of Japanese linguistics of the earlier edition, Tsujimura manages to explore a variety of new issues in the experimental and applied areas. The well-chosen additional problem sets guide students towards important topics for future research."
Junko Ito, University of California, Santa Cruz

"This revised edition provides in-depth coverage of all areas of Japanese grammar and will be a valuable pedagogical and reference work for anyone interested in Japanese linguistics."
Peter Sells, Stanford University

"In this new edition, Tsujimura gives in-depth discussions of all major areas in Japanese linguistics, including recent discoveries and a whole new chapter on language acquisition."
Haruo Kubozono, Kobe University, Japan


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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Guide Aug. 5 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Tsujimura has made this introductory guide to Japanese Linguistics a very easy reader, especially when one has basic Japanese language knowledge. The exercises at the end of each chapter are simple revision tools for the contents covered.
Though the book is not well structured theory-wise, it provides a practical overview of the various fields involved in Japanese Linguistics, particularly Syntax, which takes up a third of the book's thickness.
I recommend the book as a comprehensive guide for beginners in this field.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Guide Aug. 5 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Tsujimura has made this introductory guide to Japanese Linguistics a very easy reader, especially when one has basic Japanese language knowledge. The exercises at the end of each chapter are simple revision tools for the contents covered.
Though the book is not well structured theory-wise, it provides a practical overview of the various fields involved in Japanese Linguistics, particularly Syntax, which takes up a third of the book's thickness.
I recommend the book as a comprehensive guide for beginners in this field.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent introduction July 12 2011
By gakusya - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is definitely best suited to people who have had an intro to linguistics already, although such a primer isnt really necessary because the author defines and discusses all terms and concepts before she uses them as tools of analysis. An introductory chapter on phonology, phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, and language acquisition from any general introductory linguistics textbook will be more than adequate prep for this book, since it doesn't expound too deeply on linguistic analysis of Japanese; it is exactly what it claims to be, and introduction. The author does accommodate people who have no had no prior experience in linguistics primarily by defining any terminology that's used along with a very brief discussion of the theory, just enough to afford the reader a functional understanding. For example, a phoneme and an allophone are both well defined in the early chapters, and then she uses the sound inventory of Japanese to further illustrate conceptually what phonemes and allophones really are along with defining what the phonemic and allophonic distribution of Japanese sounds happens to be.

There is alot of repetition in this book, which might make it even more so apt for beginning students who haven't yet committed cold to memory all the terms and concepts of linguistic theory. But if your an upper year ling student, you'll definitely be aware of the repetition, even if your not familiar with Japanese. The repetition isn't wholly overwhelming, but actually kind of makes the content memorable so that you wont have to do a second or third reading of most parts.

Looking at graduate level textbooks in mathematics, for example, you'll notice that the expository emphasis is on stringing theorem and proof, leaving little discussion for motivating certain concepts or definitions and not discussing the significance. That may be what is wanted, but this book by contrast very thoughtfully motivates almost every hypothesis or guiding inquiry and slowly works through the process of going from data to conclusion. This is why it is an excellent book for beginner or intermediate level students, for you it will sharpen your linguistic thinking skills.

If your studying Japanese, want to get a more technically succinct understanding, and have no interest in pursing linguistics, then you will still get quite a bit out of this book but probably find it difficult to speed through, and have a grossly incomplete picture of general linguistic theory.

Overall the book is definitely worth buying and studying. There might be better references, akin to the theorem and proof style exposition of math texts, but this one is a good nighttime read for sure.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful for understanding Japanese linguistics June 3 2008
By dm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not a student of linguistics but rather a student of the Japanese language who is looking to improve his accent.

Although the book is meant for a scholarly audience, and one versed in the particular nomenclenture of linguistics, I find it quite useful in detailing the particulars of the Japanese spoken language.

I think that used properly in conjunction with other studies and tutoring with a native speaker this can be useful for students in improving their spoken Japanese.
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting . June 17 2013
By Maria-Dolores Garcia-Borron - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is very good. I enjoy reading it, and it makes you feel more lik reading on the subject, and learning more Japanese. Neverteless, sometimes it can get a bit boring, and it does not rely on examples enough.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great linguistics April 8 2013
By Jeff I. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't say it's the best or can't say my Prof. was the best at teaching with the book. I can just say it's very handy to have if you are in the major. I wasn't a linguistics major (was literature) so it didn't help me that much, but was a good reference.
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