Sayaka Abe
Office
FIC Freeman LF01E
Tel
(802) 443-5486
Email
sabe@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Fall 2022: Tuesday & Thursday 11:00am-12:15pm & by appt.

Sayaka Abe teaches Japanese language and linguistics courses at Middlebury. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from University at Buffalo in 2007. Before coming to Middlebury, she held a research position at University of Trento and taught at various institutions, including Vassar College and Williams College. Her primary areas of research are cognitive semantics, pragmatics and language change. Her current projects include examination of how speakers’ subjectivity is encoded in Japanese text and speech. Other interests include corpus linguistics, applied linguistics and typology/cross-linguistic studies.

Courses Taught

Course Description

First-Year Japanese
This course is an introduction to the modern Japanese language aimed at acquisition of the four basic skills speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. The emphasis is on thorough mastery of the basic structures of Japanese through intensive oral-aural practice and extensive use of audiovisual materials. The two kana syllabaries and kanji (characters) will be introduced toward the goals of developing reading skills and reinforcing grammar and vocabulary acquisition. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. drill

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

First-Year Japanese
This course is an intensive continuation of JAPN 0101. This course is required for those students wishing to take JAPN 0103 in the Spring. (JAPN 0101)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019

Requirements

LNG, WTR

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Course Description

First-Year Japanese
This course is a continuation of the fall and winter terms with the introduction of more advanced grammatical structures, vocabulary, and characters. The continuing emphasis of the beginning Japanese course will be upon acquisition of well-balanced language skills based on an understanding of the actual use of the language in the Japanese sociocultural context. (JAPN 0101, JAPN 0102) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. drill

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Introduction to Japanese Linguistics (in English)
This course will provide an introduction to linguistics theories as applied to the study of Japanese. Through the exploration of a language that is very different from Indo-European languages, students will gain a better understanding of how human languages work and are structured. The relationship of language to culture will be a central theme in the course. Topics covered will include key concepts in linguistics, Japanese linguistics, culture, and pedagogy. This course will be taught in English; no Japanese language or linguistics knowledge required. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

NOA

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Course Description

Third-Year Japanese
This advanced course aims to increase the student's proficiency in modern standard Japanese, both spoken and written. A variety of written and audiovisual materials will be used to consolidate and expand mastery of more advanced grammatical points and vocabulary. Oral presentation, discussion, and composition in Japanese are also important components of the course. (JAPN 0202 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. drill

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Third-Year Japanese
This course is a continuation of JAPN 0301. (JAPN 0301 or placement exam) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. drill

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Variation and Change in Japanese (In English)
What can linguistic change tell us about human cognition and behavior? How does the notion of “politeness” vary across communities? How do speakers of Japanese perform gender and other social identities? In this course we will address linguistic diversity and dynamism by examining the Japanese language. Topics include workplace discourse and change in honorific systems. Employing classic works in linguistics and addressing contemporary cultural materials such as manga and J-drama we will apply theoretical frameworks from (socio-)pragmatics, historical linguistics and linguistic typology to gain a deeper understanding of how and why Japanese has developed to its present forms and uses. Students with an interest in linguistics, or in teaching and learning language, or science in general, may also enjoy the analytical approach. (No prerequisites. JAPN0103 above or equivalent recommended). Heritage speakers are also welcome. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Advanced Japanese
In this course we will read, analyze, and discuss advanced Japanese materials from a variety of modern and contemporary sources. (JAPN 0302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

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Course Description

Qualified students may be permitted to undertake a special project in reading and research under the direction of a member of the department. Students should seek an advisor and submit a proposal to the department well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Honors Thesis
Students write a thesis in English with a synopsis in Japanese on literature, film, or culture. The topic for the thesis is chosen in consultation with the instructor. (JAPN 0475)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Data Science Across Disciplines
In this course we will gain exposure to the entire data science pipeline—obtaining and cleaning large and messy data sets, exploring these data and creating meaningful visualizations, and communicating insights from the data in a meaningful manner. During morning sessions, students will attend a combined lecture where they will learn the tools and techniques required to explore new and exciting data sets. During afternoon sessions, students will break out into smaller groups to apply these tools to domain-specific research projects in Art History, Biology, Economics, or Japanese and Linguistics.
Students enrolled in Professor Abe’s (Japanese) afternoon section will use the tools of data science to create visualizations of social and emotive meanings that surface through Japanese language/culture materials. Participants will use these visualizations to engage in various theoretical and pedagogical topics pertaining to (educational) linguistics.
Students enrolled in Professor Allen’s (Biology) afternoon section will use the tools of data science to investigate the drivers of tick abundance and tick-borne disease risk. To do this students will draw from a nation-wide ecological database.
Students enrolled in Professor Anderson’s (History of Art and Architecture) afternoon section will use the tools of data science to create interactive visualizations of the Dutch textile trade in the early eighteenth century. These visualizations will enable users to make connections between global trade patterns and representations of textiles in paintings, prints, and drawings.
Students enrolled in Professor Myers’ (Economics) afternoon section will use the tools of data science to create an interactive visualization of the landscape of abortion policy and access in the United States. This visualization will allow users to explore how abortion access varies across the country and how this variation in turn correlated with demographic, health, and economic outcomes.
This course will utilize the R programming language. No prior experience in statistics, data science, programming, art history, biology, economics, or Japanese is necessary

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

AAL, DED, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

How and why does language change? Are the ways in which Japanese has changed or is changing unique or are they common across languages? Does the language of pop culture of “now” and “then” reflect cultural or societal changes? What do shifts in meaning tell us about how we think and behave? What does our perception of “self” or “others” have to do with these kinds of changes? In this course, we will address the structural and functional variations of Japanese across space and time and examine the various cultural, psychological and social issues underlying such linguistic diversity. 

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Japanese MA Hybrid, Fall 2022, Japanese MA Hybrid

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Course Description

Independent Work
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Publications