Nozomi Tanaka, Ph.D.


Hello and thank you for visiting my page!

I am an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) at Indiana University. I am also affiliated with Department of Linguistics, Cognitive Science Program, and Southeast Asian and ASEAN Studies Program. I have a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a master’s from the University of Pittsburgh. My pronouns are she/her.

I am a linguist specialized in language acquisition. Using experiments and corpus analysis, I am interested in finding out to what extent the grammatical patterns we find in languages (e.g., relative clause asymmetries, islands) can be explained in terms of the human beings’ cognitive capacities and the type of input we receive during our learning process. I work with different types of speakers (children, adult native speakers, second/foreign language learners, heritage speakers, aphasics) of languages of Asia and the Pacific (e.g., Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Tagalog, Yoron-Ryukyuan). I am also interested in using findings from acquisition research to facilitate language maintenance and conservation of endangered, heritage, and minority languages. For more information about my research and current projects, please visit the Research section.

Keywords: child language development, corpus linguistics, endangered languages, experimental syntax, foreign language acquisition, heritage language, minority languages, second language acquisition

For current students

  • You can sign up for my virtual office hours through Google Calendar. (Zoom link is provided in your appointment slot.)
  • If you are requesting a letter of recommendation from me, please complete this Google form.

For prospective students

Please feel free to email me if you are interested in working with me. Prospective students are encouraged to pursue a Master’s in Japanese or Japanese Language Pedagogy or a PhD in Japanese in EALC. You can also apply to work with me through IU’s Department of Linguistics or Cognitive Science Program. If you are a PhD student in another department at Indiana University, you have an option to do a PhD minor in Japanese.


tanakan [at] indiana [dot] edu


355 N. Jordan Avenue
Global and International Studies Building 2043
Bloomington, IN 47405