Staff Directory


Osamu Ishiyama, PhD

Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Culture

Director of the Language and Culture Program

Phone: 949-480-4328

Fax: 949-480-4263


Academic Administration - Undergraduate Program Staff

Faculty - Full-Time


  • Ph.D. Linguistics, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • M.A. Linguistics, Syracuse University
  • B.A. English, Dokkyo University

Positions Held

  • 2016-Present, Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Culture, Soka University of America
  • 2010-2016, Assistant Professor of Japanese Language and Culture, Soka University of America
  • 2008-2010, Assistant Professor of Japanese, Ball State University
  • 2010, 2012, Instructor (Summer courses in Japanese), International Christian University
  • 2006-2008, Instructor of Japanese, Ball State University

Research Interests

  • Functional Linguistics, particularly deixis and language change
  • Japanese Linguistics
  • Linguistic characteristics of L2 Japanese

Selected Papers, Publications, Presentations, & Exhibits

  • Diachrony of personal pronouns in Japanese: A functional and cross-linguistic perspective (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 2019.
  • “Friendly and respectful politeness: A functional analysis of L2 utterances”. In K. Kabata & K. Toratani (Eds.), Cognitive-Functional Approaches to the Study of Japanese as Second Language. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 33-56. 2016.
  • "The nature of speaker creativity in linguistic innovation". In E. Coussé & F. von Mengden (Eds.), Usage-Based Approaches to Language Change. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 147-165. 2014.
  • "Reflexives and the shift between first and second person: The case of Japanese". Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 163-174. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA. 2014.
  • "The diachronic relationship between demonstratives and first/second person pronouns". Journal of Historical Pragmatics 13 (1):50-71. 2012.
  • "A note on Matsumoto regarding Japanese verbs of giving and receiving". Journal of Pragmatics 41 (5): 1061-1065. 2009.

Courses Taught at SUA

  • JPN 101 - JPN 202
  • JPN 306 (Intermediate Conversation)
  • JPN 310 (Advanced Conversation)
  • JPN 311 (Intermediate Reading & Writing)
  • JPN 312 (Advanced Reading & Writing)
  • JPN 410 (Japanese Literature & Film)
  • JPN 411 (Introduction to Japanese Linguistics)
  • Learning Cluster (Languages of the World; Language, Culture, and Society; Japanese Culture Through Film; Traditional and Counter-Culture of Japan; English<->Japanese Translation and Contrastive Linguistics)