LINGUISTICS research & media projects
Publications & Manuscripts
Honors & Awards
I work on syntactic theory, morphology, argument structure, and Altaic and East Asian linguistics. In syntax, I have been studying word order and movement, and how agreement in some languages (Indo-European) and topic/focus in other languages (Japanese) interact with movement. The most recent work on this research is Why Agree? Why Move? Unifying Agreement-based and Discourse Configurational Languages from MIT Press (2010), Linguistic Inquiry Monograph 54. I have recently expanded this work to include evolution of language, "The emergence of hierarchicial structre in human language,"Frontiers in Psychology (2013). New works as well as original works on major topics I have worked on appear iin Case, Argument Structure, and Word Order, in Routledge Leading Linguists Series, 2012.
I was on the original faculty team that recommended OpenCourseWare to the MIT administration. I now serve as the Chair of the MIT OCW Advisory Committee. I helped to start the Japan OCW Consortium. For my work with OCW, I received the President's Award from the Global OCW Consortium in 2012.
I taught a course on digital dividein the fall of 2005, It led to the OpenAfrica project, which involved students going to Kenya, Cameroon, and Zambia to help with the higher education system. I visited the students in all three sites.
StarFestival is a large interactive media project based on my own life as a bilingual, bicultural person growing up in the U.S. and Japan. It has been used in over 100 schools nationwide, and it won the Best of Show at the 1997 MacWorld Exposition and the Distinguished Award in Multimedia Grandprix 2000.
In 1994 I put the entire MIT Japanese language program on the Internet as an experiment to explore the power of this new technology. Called JPNET, it was the first time that an entire academic program was placed on the Internet, even before web browsers such as Netscape came into being.
My project with the Pulitzer Prize historian John W. Dower, Visualizing Cultures, has won numerous recognitions, including the MIT Class of 1960 Innovation in Education Award and the National Endowment for the Humanities recognition as an outstanding humanities education website.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Head, Foreign Languages and Literatures
Chair, MIT OpenCourseWare Faculty Advisory Committee
Professor of Linguistics & Kochi-Manjiro Professor of
Japanese Language and Culture
14N-303, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02420 USA