Subject Synopses (Doctorate Course)

Requirements for successful completion of the Doctoral Course include earning 8 Independent Study credits in addition to receiving guidance in the preparation of the dissertation. Eligible courses are listed below. Students are encouraged to take courses with professors, not only their appointed supervisor, and to engage in joint research projects with faculty members.

Independent Study in Interdisciplinary Cultural Formation Studies

Based on the courses in the Master’s Program such as Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Globalization Studies, Symbiosis Studies in Language and Culture, and Formation Studies in Language and Culture, the course researches concepts and phenomena related to culture, society, thought, and history from ancient times to the present from a broad perspective beyond disciplinary boundaries, aiming to construct an integrated knowledge system necessary to investigate cultural formation aspects and transformation from different angles. Our exploration includes lingua-cultural practices concerning gender, cultural heritage, ethnicity, nation, ecology, multicultural symbiosis, history and memory, colonialism and globalization, and other themes. We nurture the capacity of students to analyze these themes through literature, cultural theories, and fieldwork, from an interdisciplinary perspective drawing from the history of thought and society, anthropology, environmental humanities, and other approaches.

Independent Study in Culture and Representation

In this course, based on the comparative studies in language and culture, studies of culture and representation, and translation studies in the master’s program, we compare and examine the diachronic and synchronic aspects of language and culture in various countries, ethnic groups, and regions, and systematically research the complex relationships between various representations. We investigate the multilingual use and cultural transformation that occurs under cross-linguistic and cross-cultural contact, and examine theories related to correlations between language, culture, and society. We also analyze the representational systems that reflect language structures and examine the ideals and community consciousness of various linguistic and cultural groups. This analysis allows us to develop a more systematic framework for understanding individual cultural events and cultural groups.

Independent Study in Sociolinguistic and Communication Sciences

Based on the four courses of the Master’s program, i.e., Communication in Culture and Society, Pragmatics, Studies in Language Skills and Sociolinguistics, this course researches communication gaps that occur in the real world among different cultures and develops practical skills that enable responses to gaps to ensure proper communication with support from theories derived from a linguistic standpoint.

Furthermore, the course strengthens the ability to design communication, to promote international understanding, as well as cultural/linguistic literacy that enable interaction in the modern society where multiple languages and cultures coexist.

Independent Study in Second Language Education

Based on the knowledge of theory and practice of second language education that they acquired from other classes and writing their master thesis in the Master’s program, Independent Study in Second Language Education further deepen students’ understanding of languages other than the first language, how to learn and teach them, and carefully think about second language education that can contribute to contemporary society, where multiple languages and cultures coexist. This unit aims to foster education and research experts who possess sophisticated knowledge and practical skills in these fields.

Independent Study in Theoretical Linguistics

Based on basic knowledge of theoretical linguistics acquired from the MA-level courses, students deepen the understanding of syntactic and semantic aspects of human language and their interfaces under a current theoretical framework. The course serves as an opportunity to obtain applied and advanced skills in linguistic research in the doctoral program.

Independent Study in Historical Linguistic Research

This course is based on what students learned at MA level in Historical Linguistic Research, Theoretical Linguistics, Statistics for Language Studies, and Digital Humanities. Specifically, we address languages used in pre-modern society and study features of their sounds, letters, spelling, morphology, syntax, semantics, and vocabulary in a specific period, diachronic changes, and regularity in these changes. We use various analytical methods which adopt current expertise, including digitization of materials.

Independent Study in Digital Humanities

By combining traditional humanities with “the digital”, we undertake cross-disciplinary research in an effort to reorganise the ways in which humanities knowledge is acquired, interpreted, compared, referenced, and represented. Through the advanced application of natural language processing, statistical modelling and machine learning, in particular, we aim to develop methodologies for mining hidden values in cultural-historical resources, new ways of reading texts, and visualising latent patterns in datasets that are otherwise impossible to discover. A strong emphasis is laid on research based on robust data and evidence that ensure the scientific reproducibility and replicability of findings.

Independent Study in Language and Cognitive Sciences

Based on linguistic and cognitive science research, cognitive linguistics, cognitive semantic theory, and cognitive rhetoric in the master courses, we further study how to perceive the external world, acquire knowledge, and process various kinds of information by scientifically understanding the cognitive system from a linguistic information processing perspective. We study the linguistic ability mechanism and function as one cognitive mechanism. We also study cognitive linguistics, based on this linguistic perspective, both in terms of its theoretical framework and its application to specific language research.