Bio


Yoshiko Matsumoto is Yamato Ichihashi Chair in Japanese History and Civilization and professor, by courtesy, of linguistics. She is also the coordinator of the Japanese language program. Her research investigates systems of language in use, from knowledge of grammar to expressions of identity. She is a recipient of the Humanities & Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Professor (By courtesy), Linguistics

Administrative Appointments


  • Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and by courtesy, Department of Linguistics, Stanford University (2011 - Present)
  • Chair, Department of Asian Languages, Stanford University (2003 - 2005)
  • Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (formerly Asian Languages), Stanford University (2000 - 2011)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Languages, Stanford University (1992 - 2000)
  • Coordinator of the Japanese Language Program, Stanford Language Center (1992 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • Internal Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center (2005-2006)
  • Research Fellow, Japan Foundation (Language, Old Age and Gender in Japan) (2002)
  • Richard E. Guggenhime Faculty Scholar, Stanford University (2000 - 2003)
  • Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2000)
  • Special Research Assignment, College of Humanities, The Ohio State University (1991)
  • George C. and Helen N. Pardee Scholarship, University of California, Berkeley (1987 - 1988)

Program Affiliations


  • Center for East Asian Studies

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Based on in-depth analyses of Japanese, my research focuses on issues that emphasize the importance of context in understanding the structure, meaning and use of language. I have worked on pragmatics of linguistic constructions (e.g. frame semantics of noun-modifying construction, reference, honorifics, discourse markers) and sociocultural aspects of discourse (e.g. politeness theories, speech acts, bilingualism, relation among language, gender and age, ideology, and identity reflected in Japanese as a second language). Topics of my current research center around conversational narratives (especially of older women), integration of pragmatic factors in construction grammar, and typology of noun-modifying constructions.

2016-17 Courses


All Publications


  • The power of the ordinary: Quotidian framing as a narrative strategy JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS Matsumoto, Y. 2015; 86: 100-105
  • Painful to playful: Quotidian frames in the conversational discourse of older Japanese women LANGUAGE IN SOCIETY Matsumoto, Y. 2011; 40 (5): 591-616
  • Faces of Aging: The Lived Experiences of the Elderly in Japan edited by Matsumoto, Y. Stanford University Press. 2011
  • Reframing to regain identity with humor: What conversations with friends suggest for communication in elderly care Communication in Elderly Care: Cross- Cultural Approaches Matsumoto, Y. edited by Backhaus, P. Continuum.. 2011: 145–165
  • Beyond Stereotypes of Old Age: Discourse of Elderly Japanese Women Faces of Aging: The Lived Experiences of the Elderly in Japan Matsumoto, Y. edited by Matsumoto, Y. Stanford University Press. 2011
  • Introduction Faces of Aging: The Lived Experiences of the Elderly in Japan edited by Matsumoto, Y. Stanford University Press. 2011
  • Interactional frame and grammatical descriptions: The case of Japanese nounmodifying constructions Constructions and Frames Matsumoto, Y. 2010; 2 (2): 136-157
  • Manabi no Genten ni Tatsu: Freshman Seminar ga teikyoo suru mono Matsumoto, Y. 2009
  • Pragmatics of Performative Honorifics in Subordinate Clauses Language in Life, and a Life in Language: Jacob Mey, A Festschrift Matsumoto, Y. edited by Turner, K., Eraser, B. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 2009: 289–297
  • Beyond Stereotypes of Old Age: Discourse of Elderly Japanese Women International Journal of the Sociology of Language Matsumoto, Y. 2009: 129-151
  • Dealing with Changes – Humorous Self-Disclosure by Elderly Japanese Women Ageing & Society Matsumoto, Y. 2009; 29 (6)
  • Forward Face Communication and Social Interaction Matsumoto, Y. edited by Bargiela-Chiappini, F., Haugh, M. London: Equinox Publishing Ltd.. 2009: xi-xii
  • Discursive practices and changing identities in elderly Japanese women Japanese Applied Linguistics: Discourse and Social Perspectives Matsumoto, Y. edited by Mori, J., Ohta, A. S. Continuum International Publishing Group. 2008: 188–210
  • Young Women in the Meiji Period as Linguistic Trendsetters Journal of Language and Gender Matsumoto, Y., Bohn, M. 2008; 2 (1): 9-42
  • Variations in Japanese honorification -- deviations or a change in the making? Constructional Re-organization Matsumoto, Y. edited by Leino, J. John Benjamins. 2008: 89–104
  • Tuning Styles and Personae Japanese Speech Style Shift Matsumoto, Y. edited by Jones, K., Ono, T. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.. 2008: 213–228
  • Interaction of multiple factors in relative clause construal and acquisition STUDIES IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Matsumoto, Y. 2007; 29 (2): 367-374
  • Integrating frames: Complex noun phrase constructions in Japanese Aspects of Linguistics: In Honor of Noriko Akatsuka (Gengogaku no Syosoo: Akatsuka Noriko Kyoozyu Kinen Ronbunsyuu) Matsumoto, Y. edited by Kuno, S., Makino, S., Strauss, S. Tokyo: Kurosio Publishers. 2007: 131–154
  • Diversity in Language: Perspectives edited by Matsumoto, Y., Oshima, D., Robinson, O., Sells, P. CSLI Publications. 2007
  • Kaiwa no naka no iwayuru joseigo (Use of so-called women’s language in conversation) Gengo (Language) Matsumoto, Y. 2007; 36 (3): 62-69
  • Dealing with changes -- Discourse of elderly Japanese women Japanese/Korean Linguistics Matsumoto, Y., et al edited by McGloin, N. H., et al CSLI. 2007: 93–107
  • Diversity and universality in languages:The consequences of variation Diversity in Language: Perspectives & Implications Matsumoto, Y. edited by Matsumoto, Y., Oshima, D., Robinson, O., Sells, P. CSLI Publications. 2007: 2–7
  • We’ll be dead by then! – comical self-disclosure by elderly Japanese women Matsumoto, Y. edited by Ettlinger, M., Fleisher, N., Park-Doob, M. 2005: 268–79
  • Role of Pragmatics in Japanese Relative Clauses Japanese Linguistics: Critical Concepts Matsumoto, Y., Tsujimura, N. 2005; 3
  • Kizuki to sentaku: Shakai-gengogakuteki nooryoku no yoosei o mezasu nihongokyooiku no igi Gengogaku to Nihongo Kyooiku III Matsumoto, Y., Shimizu, T., Lipton, H. O., Lowdermilk, M. K. edited by Masahiko, M., Asano, M. 2004: 41–58
  • The Japanese copula: Forms and functions. (Book Review) JOURNAL OF JAPANESE STUDIES Book Review Authored by: Matsumoto, Y. 2004; 30 (1): 228-232
  • The new (and improved?) language and place of women in Japan Language and Woman’s Place: Text and Commentaries Matsumoto, Y. edited by Bucholtz, M. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004: 244–251
  • Alternative Femininity: Personae of Middle-Aged Mothers Japanese Language, Gender, and Ideology: Cultural models and real people Matsumoto, Y. edited by Okamoto, S., Smith, J. S. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004: 240–255
  • How to do historic pragmatics with Japanese honorifics - Reply to Pizziconi JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS Matsumoto, Y. 2003; 35 (10-11): 1515-1521
  • The Construction of the Japanese Language and Culture in Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language Japanese Language and Literature Okamoto, S., Matsumoto, Y. 2003; 37 (1): 27-48
  • Gender Identity and the Presentation of Self in Japanese Gendered Practices in Language Matsumoto, Y. edited by Benor, S., Rose, M., Sharma, D., Sweetland, J., Zhang, Q. CA: CSLI Publications. 2002
  • Extending frame semantics: Flexibility of complex noun phrase constructions in Japanese 7th International Pragmatics Conference Matsumoto, Y. INTERNATIONAL PRAGMATICS ASSOCIATION VZW. 2001: 256–266
  • Extending Frame Semantics: Flexibility of Complex Noun Phrase Constructions in Japanese Cognition in Language Use: Selected papers from the 7th International Pragmatics Conference Matsumoto, Y. edited by Nemeth, E. Antwerp: Belgium. 2001: 256–266
  • Tyotto: Speech act qualification in Japanese Japanese Language and Literature Matsumoto, Y. 2001; 35 (1): 1-16
  • Japanese stylistic choices and ideologies across generations Language and Ideology: Selected Papers from the 6th International Pragmatics Conference Matsumoto, Y. edited by Verschueren, J. Antwerp: International Pragmatics Association. 1999: 352–364
  • Sedai to kotoba no sentaku Gengogaku to Nihongo Kyooiku - Jitsuyooteki Gengo Kenkyuu no Koochiku o Mezashite Alam, Y. S., Matsumoto, Y. Tokyo: Kurosio Syuppan. 1999: 33–48
  • The complementizer toyuu in Japanese Japanese/Korean Linguistics Volume Matsumoto, Y. edited by Akatsuka, N. Center for the Study of Language and Information. 1998: 243–255
  • The rise and fall of Japanese nonsubject honorifics: The case of 'o-Verb-suru' JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS Matsumoto, Y. 1997; 28 (6): 719-740
  • Preface for the Special Issue on Japanese Pragmatics Journal of Pragmatics Matsumoto, Y. 1997; 28 (6): 659-660
  • Journal of Pragmatics edited by Matsumoto, Y. 1997; 28 (6)
  • Interaction of Factors in Construal: Japanese Relative Clauses Grammatical Constructions: their form and meaning Matsumoto, Y. edited by Shibatani, M., Thompson, S. A. Thompson. Oxford University Press. 1996: 103–124
  • Does less feminine speech in Japanese mean less femininity? Proceedings of the Fourth Berkeley Women and Language Conference Matsumoto, Y. 1996: 455–67
  • Imi kara mita rentai-syuusyoku no iroiro Gengo Matsumoto, Y. 1994; 9: 124-127
  • Acquisition of Japanese by American Businessmen in Tokyo: How much and why Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition and Development Matsumoto, Y. edited by Blackshire-Belay, C. University Press of America. 1994: 119–140
  • Nihongo meisi-ku koozoo no goyooronteki koosatu Nihongogaku Matsumoto, Y. 1993; 12: 101-114
  • Linguistic Politeness and Cultural Style: Observation from Japanese Japanese/Korean Linguistics Matsumoto, Y. edited by Clancy, P. M. 1993: 55–67
  • Linguistic Politeness and Cultural Style: Observation from Japanese Japanese/Korean Linguistics Matsumoto, Y. edited by Clancy, P. M. Center for the Study of Language and Information. 1993: 55–67
  • Warranted requests: Speaker's strategies in Japanese Festschrift for Professor Okuda on the Occasion of her 70th Birthday Matsumoto, Y. 1992
  • Is it really a topic that is relativized?: Arguments from Japanese Matsumoto, Y. 1991
  • Role of Pragmatics in Japanese Relative Clauses Lingua Matsumoto, Y. 1991; 82: 111-129
  • Politeness and Conversational Universals: Observations from Japanese Multilingua Matsumoto, Y. 1989: 207-221
  • Japanese-style Noun Modification ... in English Matsumoto, Y. 1989: 226–37
  • REEXAMINATION OF THE UNIVERSALITY OF FACE - POLITENESS PHENOMENA IN JAPANESE JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS Matsumoto, Y. 1988; 12 (4): 403-426
  • Semantics and Pragmatics of Noun-Modifying Constructions in Japanese Matsumoto, Y. 1988: 166–75
  • Japanese Women's Language Studies in Second Language Acquisition Matsumoto, Y. 1986; 8 (2)
  • A Sort of Speech Act Qualification in Japanese: Chotto Journal of Asian Culture Matsumoto, Y. 1985; IX: 143-159
  • Bilingualism Among American Businessmen in Tokyo Language as Social Behavior: Sociolinguistics Series No.3 Matsumoto, Y. edited by Peng, F., Hori, M. Bunka Hyooron publishing Company. Hiroshima: Japan. 1981
  • Linguistic Behavior of Americans in Japan -- A case study of American businessmen in Tokyo Working Papers on Bilingualism in Japan Matsumoto, Y. 1979