The University of Tokyo Graduate
School of Arts and Sciences

Language and Information Sciences


The University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Department of Language and Information Sciences

3-8-1, Komaba, Meguroku, Tokyo 153-8902 Japan

TEL: 81-3-5454-6376

FAX: 81-3-5454-4329

Language and Mind/Brain

When we use language, what mental faculties are put into use, and what kind of neural basis is there to enable the use of language? To answer these questions, there are a variety of different research programs. Generative grammar posits domain-specific knowledge called the "language faculty" and attempts to uncover its nature. It has been the backbone of many psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic studies.

Psycholinguistics, or the psychology of language, is engaged in the experimental study of parsing, processing, and production, as well as the study of language acquisition using both experimental and corpus-based methods. Neurolinguistics studies the functioning of the brain responsible for language use. It involves, among other things, research into language impairment (such as aphasia) as well various kinds of research which utilize brain-imaging techniques.

From a yet different angle, cognitive linguistics studies language by focusing on the process of meaning construction, which is inextricably interwoven with such mental operations as analogy, categorization, reasoning, etc. It also feeds into both psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic studies. At the same time, philosophy of language takes interest in the interconnection between the way the mind works in general and the functioning of language in particular, thus providing a backdrop against which to evaluate the significance of the claims made in the aforementioned areas of study.

The Department of Language and Information Sciences, with its strong emphasis on the language-mind/brain relation, is the primary constituent of the Center of Excellence (COE) Program "Mind and language: Center for evolutionary cognitive science", sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


Izabelle Grenon, HIROSE Yuki, ITO Takane, OSEKI Yohei
ITO Takane, OSEKI Yohei
Generative grammar:
INABA Jiro, ITO Takane, MORI Yoshiki, TANAKA Shin'ichi, YATABE Shuichi, OSEKI Yohei
Cognitive linguistics:
FUJII Seiko, MORI Yoshiki, ONO Hideki, TSUBOI Eijiro, WATANABE Jun-ya, KAWASAKI Keigo
Philosophy of language:
MORI Yoshiki