Areas of Study
Email Address
Christian Johnson 408A
On Leave/Away
Fall ’24

Masaaki Kamiya's research interests are syntax, semantics, and language acquisition. Kamiya's recent published work includes “Passivization, reconstruction and edge phenomena: connecting English and Japanese nominalizations,” Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 31 (with van Hout and Roeper).

Kamiya also has published “Lexical vs. Pragmatically Derived Interpretations of Numerals;” Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 15 (with Matsuya) and “Two Types of Movement in Japanese Nominalizations and Edge Phenomena,” among other works. He has a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Recent Courses Taught

First-Term Japanese
Second-Term Japanese
Advanced Japanese
Language Acquisition
Introduction to Linguistics
Morphology and Syntax
Conversation analysis: usage of structures in Japanese drama, manga and anime

Research Interests

Japanese linguistics/pedagogy
First and second language acquisition


  • Emerson Summer Collaboration Grant, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013
  • Christian A. Johnson Teaching Award, 2011
  • Class of 1963 Faculty Fellowship, 2010
  • Hewitt Curriculum Transformation Institute, 2008
  • Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Summer Asian Studies research grant, 2005 
  • Hewlett Human Diversity Grant, 2004

Selected Publications

  • Kamiya, Masaaki, and Priya Ananth (2020) "Learnability issues in L2 Japanese: Prosody and ambiguity resolution" Journal of Japanese Linguistics 36(1): 3–28.

  • Brown, Amanda, and Masaaki Kamiya 2019.  ‘Gesture in contexts of scopal ambiguity: Negation and quantification in English’ Applied Psycholinguistics. 

  • Ananth, Priya, and Masaaki Kamiya. 2015. ‘Effect of prosody on disambiguation in L2 Japanese: a case of universal quantifier and negation’ Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition 1 (University of Silesia Press):97-122.
  • van Hout, Angeliek, Masaaki Kamiya and Thomas Roeper. 2013. ‘Passive, reconstruction and edge phenomena: connecting English and Japanese nominalizations’ Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 31: 137-159.
  • Kamiya, Masaaki and Akemi Matsuya. 2011. ‘Lexical vs. Pragmatically derived interpretations of numerals’ In Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 15:353-364.
  • Kamiya, Masaaki. 2010. ‘Two Types of Movement in Japanese Nominalizations and Edge Phenomena’, Japanese/Korean Linguistics 17: 199-213, edited by Shoichi Iwasaki, Hajime Hoji, Patricia M. Clancy, and Sung-Ock Sohn, Center for the Study of Language and Information. Stanford
  • Kamiya, Masaaki. 2009. ‘Negation, Quantifiers, and A-movement in Nominalization in Japanese’, Linguistic Analysis 35: 43-70, Special Issue on Phase Edge Investigations, edited by Kleanthes K. Grohmann & Phoevos Panagiotidis.
  • Kamiya, Masaaki. 2009. ‘Movement of Arguments and Negative Feature’, In Kleanthes K. Grohmann, Explorations of Phase Theory: Features and Arguments, 181-205, de Gruyter: Berlin/New York.
  • Kamiya, Masaaki. 2005. ‘Syntactic categories and argument structures of verbal nouns in Japanese Light Verb Construction’, Journal of Japanese Linguistics 21:1-20.

College Service

  • Japanese Program Coordinator, 2003-present
  • Program director of Linguistics, August 2014-present
  • Language Center Advisory Committee member, 2012-14
  • Campus Planning Committee, 2012-14
  • Committee on Athletics, 2009-12; chair, fall 2011
  • Honor Court, 2010-11
  • Judge for the Hamilton Public Speaking Competition, March 2010
  • Web-maintenance, publicity and budget of New York Conference on Asian Studies 2008 at Hamilton College
  • Strategic planning steering committee (student recruitment and retention)
  • Organizer of Phi Sigma Iota honor society, 2006
  • Organizer of Asia Forum, September 2003 - May 2009
  • Asian Studies Committee member, August 2003 to present

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Maryland
M.Ed., East Carolina University
Educational Exchange Program, Bryn Mawr College
B.A., Dokkyo University

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