JAP4330 – Introduction to the Japanese Language and Linguistics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course aims to introduce students to some essential features of the Japanese language. It covers fundamental issues in Japanese linguistics (language typology, sound system, writing system, lexicon, and grammar) as well as in cultural aspects of the language (language and culture, intercultural communication, gender, politeness, role language etc.) Basic concepts in Japanese linguistics will be introduced to help students understand the content of the lectures. 

Learning outcome

  • To gain a fundamental linguistic knowledge of the Japanese language
  • To understand the functions of language in society and culture
  • To develop a comparative framework to see the differences between Japanese and other languages
  • To learn how to collect and analyze linguistic data
  • Skills in presenting findings and engaging in academic dialogue


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Please see the admission requirements defined by the programme option Japanese Studies.

No prior linguistic training is required. However the intermediate level of the Japanese language proficiency (JAP2110 – Japansk 3+4 / JAP3010 – Japansk E or JLPT N3) is requisite.


Autumn 2020: Teaching will follow the guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid-19.

A detailed plan for the semester will show which activities will be digital, and this will be updated by the beginning of August.

There will not be a requirement for compulsory attendance for teaching which is done digitally, but we strongly recommend that you follow all the teaching.


The course is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars organized as 10 classes of 3 hours each (including extra hours of reading Japanese texts) throughout the semester. The course presupposes active participation in class.

Compulsory activities:

  • at least 80% attendance

  • small assignments related to the articles and primary sources discussed in class
  • outline of an oral presentation, including a bibliography, subject to prior approval by the teacher 
  • oral presentation  on the basis of the outline

An approved outline and oral presentation is only valid for one semester. Other approved compulsory activities are valid in the present semester as well as the next two semesters that the course is given. 

All compulsory activities must be approved in order to qualify for the exam. It is the student’s responsibility to check whether or not the compulsory activities are approved.

This is how you apply for valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance.


The exam is a 10 page essay (term paper) on the basis of the oral presentation. The essay should have an analytical content and should make use of Japanese sources and Western-language theoretical sources.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language