Greeting from the President

Welcome to Japanese Society for Language Sciences!

Our Society was founded in 1999 as the JCHAT Language Science Society and then changed its name to Japanese Society for Language Sciences (JSLS) at the third annual international conference.

Our primary goal is to contribute to the advancement of language sciences and to deepen our understanding of human nature through our joint research activities. In order to achieve this goal, we have been and will continue to be promoting a broad range of research in language sciences. In addition to theoretical and applied linguistics, areas such as natural language processing, brain sciences, computer simulation and robotics are all seen to be part of a broader group of language sciences.

My personal history with JSLS began when I was a young researcher. Having been trained as a theoretical linguist (pragmatics), I was a member of several academic societies for theoretical linguistics. As my research interests moved towards the development of pragmatic ability however, I started using experimental methods and my research had become more interdisciplinary. For instance, I was investigating the developmental relationship between language and social cognition in preschool children, and the topic was not a good fit for presentation at a theoretical linguistics conference. Luckily, I discovered JSLS then and had an opportunity to present the data. Interdisciplinary research was not so popular in those early days, and so I still feel grateful to Dr. Harumi Kobayashi, the former president of JSLS, who gave us very encouraging comments and questions after our presentation. Now we are in a new era and interdisciplinary research is promoted in every academic discipline. As a pioneer in this area, JSLS continue to support and welcome interdisciplinary research.

JSLS has another important aim to promote social contribution through research on language sciences. For myself, I am very grateful to have met children who have difficulty with social communication through our developmental research. Meeting and knowing those children encouraged me to link our joint research to a better, more evidence-based, educational support program to improve their difficulties. I was also very lucky to form joint research teams with researchers from different disciplines, such as developmental psychologists and specialists in special needs education to achieve such aims. It is with the hope to promote such fruitful exchanges between linguists and education specialists at the 2023 JSLS conference that we invited researchers who specialise in language and/or communication disorders, and those who specialise in teaching Japanese to school children who are not native speakers of Japanese.

The 2023 JSLS conference will be the first on-site conference after three years with two on-line conferences during the covid-19 hiatus. I hope it is a great opportunity not only to rediscover what an academic conference can achieve by sharing both time and place with many international researchers, but also to reinvent a new, post-covid-19, conference.

Tomoko Matsui,

The 5th President, Japanese Society for Language Sciences

Professor of English Linguistics, Chuo University