ILCAA Home > Research Projects and Resources > Joint Research Projects > Exploration into Dynamicity of Grammar (...
Font Size : [Larger] [Medium] [Smaller]

ILCAA Joint Research Project

Exploration into Dynamicity of Grammar (1): Multiplicity and Distributedness in Grammar



  • Usage-based approach
  • grammatical theory
  • natural discourse




About the Project

Project term: April, 2017–March, 2020

This project examines the reality and the nature of structural diversity within a grammatical system and considers the implications of this internal multiplicity for the general theory of grammar. Grammar is commonly assumed to take shape as an integrated system of general patterns. This integrated view has been serving as a dominant metaphor in our approach to grammar. Thus, the question of contextual variation has almost never been given serious treatment in the theoretical study of the grammatical system. The observed variations have typically been considered to be superficial, peripheral, and unessential phenomena that do not have any relevance to how the system of grammar is built. This project questions this integrated view and explores an alternative view of grammar where grammar is thought to consist of multiple overlapping but separate systems. According to this view, the observed structural variations are direct reflections of multiplicity in grammar. We will explore this multiplicity in grammar by examining two different kinds of contextual variations: (1) variations with respect to major structural principles including word order and grammatical markings and (2) subregularities found in the system (i.e., patterns and regularities that are local to a particular genre or context).

Toshihide NAKAYAMA, Project Coordinator (Professor, ILCAA)



  • Toshihide NAKAYAMA (ILCAA)


  • Makoto MINEGISHI
  • Tokusu KUREBITO

Joint Researchers

  • Hayato AOI
  • Takashi HAMADA
  • Fumino HORIUCHI
  • Atsuhiko KATO
  • Shigehiro KATO
  • Kumiko NAKAYAMA
  • Tsuyoshi ONO
  • Naoki OTANI
  • Michinori SHIMOJI
  • Ryoko SUZUKI
  • Yasunori TAKAHASHI
  • Hiroko TAKANASHI
  • Wei WU
  • Noboru YOSHIOKA



The 3rd meeting

  • Date/Time: Sun 9 Dec 2018 10:00–18:00
  • Venue: Room 306, ILCAA
  • Language: Japanese
  • Organized by Linguistic Dynamics Science 3 (LingDy3)
  • Toshihide NAKAYAMA (ILCAA)
    “Multiplicity in grammar and 'exceptional' structure”
    Naoki OTANI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
    “Syntactic, semantic, and discourse characteristics of the 'better off' construction in English”
    Kou KURODA (Kyorin University)
    “How do speakers react to ungrammatical sentences?”
    Shigehiro KATO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Hokkaido University)
    “Clash between structural and pragmatic rules in Japanese”
    Masato YOSHIKAWA (Keio University)
    “‘The funny this is...’: Sentence production as an optimal mixture of formulaicity and creativity”
    All members
    Open discussion

The 2nd meeting

  • Date/Time: Sun 11 Feb 2018 10:30–18:00
  • Venue: Room 304, ILCAA
  • Language: Japanese
  • Toshihide NAKAYAMA (ILCAA)
    “What constitutes grammatical knowledge?”
    Kou KURODA (Kyorin University)
    “Adequate description and explanation requires optimization of the notion of grammar”
    Masato YOSHIKAWA (Keio University)
    “Grammar as a socially constructed illusion”
    Fumino HORIUCHI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Keio University)
    “The role of context in formation of word knowledge as observed in acquisition of English prepositions”
    All members
    Open discussion

The 1st meeting Report (Japanese)(158KB)

  • Date/Time: Sat 7 Oct 2017 13:00–18:00,Sun 8 Oct 2017 10:00–13:00
  • Venue: Room 405, ILCAA
  • Language: Japanese
  • Organized by Linguistic Dynamics Science 3 (LingDy3)
  • 7 Oct
  • Toshihide NAKAYAMA (ILCAA)
    Introduction: Objectives of the project
    Hayato AOI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, ILCAA Research Associate and NINJAL)
    “Multiple Grammar model and its theoretical implications”
    Fumino HORIUCHI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Keio University)
    “Multiplicity in grammar as observed in everyday conversation in Japanese”
    All members
    Reports on variations in linguistic patterns (1)
    All members
    Open discussion: Issues raised by multiplicity in grammar
  • 8 Oct
  • All members
    Reports on variations in linguistic patterns (2)
    All members
    Open discussion: Grammar research that takes multiplicity into account

Go back to Joint Research Projects page

Copyright © 2010 Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. All Rights Reserved.