• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Japanese
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

The goals of the course are to see how the principles of historical and comparative linguistics are reflected in the history of Japanese. We will look at several important phonological and syntactic phenomena, (and at how they might be accounted for in various frameworks) both native and Western. Students will acquire a sense of the depth of the language, and an understanding of what is involved in doing historical linguistic research.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:
1. Understand the basic terminology and issues of the field of historical linguistics as they pertain to Japanese;
2. Analyse a wide range of phonological, morphological and syntactic structures in Old Japanese and the Modern varieties
3. Assess the typical arguments made in linguistic discussions;
4. Identify dialect differences within Japonic;
5. Analyse and compare linguistic systems within Japonic;
6. Undertake guided research in linguistic issues of interest and present arguments and conclusions coherently, persuasively, and meaningfully;
7. Reflect on and articulate how their own views on language change and variation have developed over the course of the semester 

Indicative Assessment

  • final essay of 3,000 words (LO 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) 40%
  • critical summaries (4 x 300 words) (LO 1, 2, 3) 20%
  • project on the history of one variety (1,000 words) (LO 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) 30%
  • oral research presentation (LO 2, 5, 7) 10%

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Three hours per week

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have the permission of the convener. You may not enrol in this course if you have previously completed JPNS3011.

You will need to contact the School of Culture History and Language to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

*Crowley., T, An Introduction to Historical Linguistics, 2nd ed, Oxford, Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1992
*Shibatani, Masayoshi, The Languages of Japan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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