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Yasumasa Shigenaga
Assistant Professor of Japanese Language and Linguistics

Yasumasa Shigenaga studies psycholinguistics and second language acquisition. His current research examines processing of certain sentence types by learners of Japanese, for the purpose of understanding in what ways sentence processing by second language learners may be different from that by native speakers, and what factors (e.g., general proficiency in the target language, learners’ first language) may influence their sentence comprehension and production.

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 15



233 Carpenter Hall


  • Japanese Language and Linguistics
  • Japanese Studies
  • Languages and Cultures
  • Comparative Languages and Linguistics


  • Ph.D., University of Arizona
  • M.A., University of Arizona
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • B.A., Keio University

My research interests are in the areas of psycholinguistics and second language acquisition. I am particularly interested in understanding how metalinguistic awareness (i.e., knowledge about language) that has been established through the learning and use of one’s first language might influence her/his acquisition and processing of a second language.

Shigenaga, Y. (2016). Friendship through interaction and interaction through friendship: Manifestations of positive politeness and footing changes in the interaction of two friends playing chess. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 7(5), 45-58.

Shigenaga, Y. (2014). Canonical word order of Japanese ditransitive sentences: A preliminary investigation through a grammaticality judgment survey. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 5(2), 35-45.

Shigenaga, Y. (2012). Processing of scrambled sentences by learners of Japanese as a second language. Arizona Working Papers in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, 19, 79-103.

American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ)

I am still very new to Earlham, but my impressions of Earlham students are that they are not afraid of speaking their minds, yet they deeply care about others and value harmony.