The 21st Century COE Program "Usage-Based Linguistic Informatics"(2002-2006)

Expected Research Results and Significance

Research Results for Language Education & Engineering and Foreign Language Education (Collaboration between Language Education and Computer Science)

E-Learning, the base of which is made up of numerous languages other than English, is still under development, and the fact that our institution has embarked on the development of e-Learning courses is thus of great significance. It can even be said that no other university could achieve the unique academic research we have carried out for e-Learning courses targeted at various Asian languages (Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, Filipino, Mongolian, etc.). In addition, there are very few institutions in the world at which second language acquisition theory in a language other than English is being researched. Our COE is academically significant from this standpoint as well. The e-Learning system has the potential to be utilized throughout the world, and the propagation effects of this would be tremendous. Academic research results in language education such as evaluation methods for linguistic proficiency, classroom research, syllabi and materials analysis can be expected.

Research Results for Corpus Linguistics and Natural Language Processing (Collaboration between Linguistics and Computer Science)

We have constructed an objective-specific multilingual corpus focused on language functions (a corpus on language functions such as grammatical functions, greetings, apologies and praises) and a multilingual corpus focused on content (a corpus on cultural research, linguistics, etc.). These corpora will not only significantly contribute to the development of foreign language teaching materials, but also the understanding of foreign cultures and improvement of liberal arts education at the university level. Nowhere else in the world can you find objective-specific multilingual corpora that put online language resources to practical use like those constructed by our COE.

Comprehensive Research Results obtained through Linguistic Informatics (The Integration of Linguistics and Language Education based on Computer Science)

Conventional linguistic research and language education did not necessarily recognize the necessity of scientifically analyzing actual linguistic usage. In the past, the field of linguistics was entirely focused on theoretical research and describing the inner workings of language. In fact, it has been only recently that research has begun to focus on discourses and textbooks that are actually in use. By incorporating online language resources and achievements made in the field of computer science, our COE has successfully solved the limitations of conventional research methods and scientifically elucidated the realities of linguistic usage. These research results have also been put to practical use in actual language education settings. In this way, our COE has integrated linguistics and language education under the name of Linguistic Informatics with computer science as the foundation, and this has made it possible for us to foster foreign language education researchers with more than ample knowledge of both linguistic theory and information technology. Consequently, it can be said that our COE is contributing to the advancement of foreign language education in Japan.