Tohoku University. Research Profiles


A Comparative Semantic Analysis of English and Japanese



When people communicate with each other through language, what mechanisms are there to convey meanings? Do the mechanisms vary from language to language, or are they the same across languages? These are the questions to which I am seeking answers through my research on English and Japanese. Sometimes one word can express several different meanings. For example, if you say "There is a newspaper on the table", "newspaper" denotes a printed matter, whereas if you say "The newspaper denounced the injustice", the same word denotes the media. The coexistence of multiple possible meanings for a single word or phrase is called polysemy. I am interested in how people produce and understand words with many different meanings in actual communication.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

The outcome of my research will bring better understanding of polysemy and contribute to the foundation of language processing and automatic translation, and to construction of lexicons (dictionaries) that are used for those purposes. It will also make contribution to the development of materials and methods in foreign language teaching/learning.


Graduate School of International Cultural Studies

ONO, Naoyuki , Professor
Doctor of Letters