Live Locally, Grow Globally

What's NEW

Yoko YUMOTO, Professor, Graduate School of Language and Culture

   Professor Yoko YUMOTO (Graduate School of Language and Culture) has been hard at work researching just how meanings of words and grammatical properties are organized, as well as how we as humans apply names to things that we see for the very first time.

   For example, the English word "load," requires two complements to achieve meaning; that is, the things being "loaded" and the place to which they are "loaded." On top of that, there are often multiple ways to express the same thought, e.g., "load apples onto a truck" versus "load a truck with apples." On the other hand, there is only really one way to express this concept in Japanese. So why, then, do these differences occur? It's quite possible to explain these contrasts through thorough analysis of the meanings of verbs and how they correspond with sentence structure. To this end, it is necessary to perform surveys such as ongoing data collection and gathering information through the use of informants.

   Professor Yumoto has a strong connection even with words that she sees everyday. For example, she recently found an interesting expression on the internet which in English equated to, "reinhabit the planet." It's difficult to call it "grammatical," but she couldn't help but inquire into why it is an accepted expression. Every word she interacts with can be studied. Professor Yumoto originally started researching English grammar, but later expanded her research to include Japanese, which eventually led her to a thorough investigation of the similarities and differences of the mental lexicons of both languages. Her achievements have earned her the 2014 Presidential Award for Achievement. She is currently planning to expand her research efforts into the lexicon of sign language.

   But outside of her research, Professor Yumoto finds time to enjoy her hobby, visiting art museums. "Being surrounded by beautiful paintings and sculptures is such a luxury; I love it." Certainly an enjoyable form of relaxation between efforts in an ongoing quest to understand modern languages that are, quite literally, living.

About Professor Yumoto

A graduate of the English Literature Department of the Graduate School of Letters at Osaka University, Professor Yumoto became a special researcher at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, after which she became an assistant at the School of Language and Culture at Osaka University in 1987. In 2007, she began at her current position as a professor at the Graduate School of Language and Culture, Osaka University. She received her doctorate in literature from Osaka University in 2004, and in 2005, she won the Shinmura Izuru Prize. Professor Yumoto specializes in English and Japanese morphology, as well as lexical semantics. Her major works include Syntax and Meaning of Complex Verbs and Nominal Verbs - Japanese and English Verb Formation as Viewed From Module Morphology (YUMOTO Yoko, 2005), Meaning and Grammar of Vocabulary (YUMOTO Yoko, edited by KISHIMOTO Hideki, 2009), Hidden Grammar and Dynamism in the Lexicon (YUMOTO Yoko, 2011), and The Current State of Complex Predicate Research (YUMOTO Yoko, 2014). 

What's NEW

Back to top