Research Agenda


 

Today, communication has become an issue of urgency as we evolve into a multicultural and multilingual society. At the same time, our transition into a knowledge-based society has made it necessary for the humanities to help generate more valuable and practical knowledge. Focusing on the topics of communication and knowledge generation, we seek to establish research areas and tasks and implement the project accordingly.

 

Knowledge generation in the humanities has reached a phase demanding its qualitative transformation as it comes into contact with a variety of non-written material and novel knowledge now in wide circulation. In order to propel knowledge to a qualitatively advanced level by aggregating various types of resources and knowledge discovered anew and humanities research results, it is thus necessary to introduce humanistic linguistics going beyond the parameters of conventional linguistics as a medium for bridging these resources and research outcomes and for providing processed resources.

 

With the founding of humanistic linguistics set as the main objective, this study purports to generate “complex humanistic knowledge” embodying multi-layered knowledge by constructing and utilizing “multimodal corpora.” Proving the validity of deductively derived humanities research results through newly constructed multimodal corpora, this study also intends to propose an empirical research paradigm. In addition, the generation of “complex humanistic knowledge” is aimed at facilitating communication between areas within the humanities. In this study, multimodal corpora, as data indicating various aspects of communication, such as gestures, writing, pictures, and images, refer to ones annotated and processed in several perspectives, including language, function, circumstances, context, history, and genre. Complex humanistic knowledge, generated via such multimodal corpora, is not only a totality of knowledge acquired through the observation and the understanding of both the reality of society and an individual life in terms of the way in which language that has been used from the beginning of modernity to the present is examined, but also accomplishments of academic efforts made to solve problems therein.

 

In order to attain the objectives described above, this study seeks to carry out projects by establishing well-defined tasks, such as conversation that reflects the aspect of communication between contemporary society and individuals, grammar that embodies a system in which culture is linguistically symbolized and theorized, “discourse and history” that track changes in communication from the outset of modern times, and acquisition and education that deal with an individual’s socialization and cultural transmission to next generations. Task 1 involves research on the aspect of communication reflected in formal discourse and daily conversation in the context of contemporary society; Task 2 on a theoretical establishment of integrated spoken and written language grammar; Task 3 on modern ‘discourse theory’ and ‘modernity’ based on ordinary people’s linguistic habits reflected in early modern media; Task 4 on the acquisition and development of and education in a native tongue and a second language; and Task 5 on measures of constructing and utilizing multimodal corpora.

 

This project proceeds in the following three stages.

 

In the first stage, multimodal corpora are constructed, with the foundation of humanistic linguistics laid. The second stage entails the generation of complex humanistic knowledge based on multimodal corpora, followed by the third stage in which humanistic linguistics are put into practice by having such humanistic knowledge widely communicated to various fields of the humanities and to society in general.