Bjarke Frellesvig


Professor of Japanese Linguistics; Fellow of Hertford College 

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern StudiesHertford College


Research Interests:

  • Japanese linguistics
  • Old Japanese
  • History of the Japanese language
  • Historical linguistics

Current Projects:

Courses Taught:

  • Old Japanese
  • Classical Japanese
  • Japanese grammar
  • History and structure of Japanese
  • Japanese linguistics

Recent Publications:

Electronic online publication

2018 onwards (ongoing) The Oxford-NINJAL Corpus of Old Japanese

Editor-in-chief, with Stephen Horn


Print Publications 

  • 2022. “On the reconstruction of pre-Old Japanese morphology: OJ grammatical morphemes reflecting pre-OJ *k- ~ *s-”. In Japanese/Korean Linguistics 29, ed. by Kaoru Horie, Kimi Akita, Yusuke Kubota, David Y. Oshima, and Akira Utsugi, 25-49. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
  • 2021. “On otsu-rui Ci2 and Ce2 and root-final consonants in pre-Old Japanese”. In Studies in Asian historical linguistics, philology and beyond: Festschrift presented to Alexander V. Vovin in honor of his 60th birthday, edited by John Kupchik, Marc Miyake and José Andrés Alonso de la Fuente, 35-48. Brill.
  • 2021 (With Hirofumi Aoki). “Verb verb complex predicates in Old and Middle Japanese”. In Verb-Verb complexes in Asian languages, edited by Taro Kageyama, Peter Hook, and Prashant Pardeshi, pp. 44-69. Oxford University Press.
  • 2019. “From preverbal to postverbal in the early history of Japanese”. In Perspectives on language structure and language change, edited by Lars Heltoft, Iván Igartua, Brian D. Joseph, Kirsten Jeppesen Kragh and Lene Schøsler [= Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 345], pp. 233-51. John Benjamins.
  • 2018. (with Stephen Horn and Yuko Yanagida). “A Diachronic Perspective on Differential Object Marking in Pre-modern Japanese: Old Japanese and Early Middle Japanese”, Diachrony of differential argument marking, edited by Ilja A. Seržant and Alena Witzlach-Makarevich, pp. 183-207. Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • DOI:10.5281/zenodo.1228255
  • 2018. “The history of the language”. In The Cambridge Handbook of Japanese Linguistics, edited by Yoko Hasegawa, pp. 15-39. Cambridge University Press.
  • 2018. “On feature ranking in Japanese onset obstruents”. In Studies in Japanese and Korean historical and theoretical linguistics and beyond: Festschrift presented to John B Whitman, edited by William McClure and Alexander Vovin, pp. 22-36. Leiden: Brill.
  • 2017. “Old and Middle Japanese”. In The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics, edited by Mark Aronoff (Editor-in-Chief). 
  • DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199384655.013.278
  • 2016 (with John Whitman). “The Historical Source of the Bigrade Transitivity Alternations in Japanese”. Transitivity and Valency Alternations: Studies on Japanese and Beyond, edited by Taro Kageyama and Wesley Jacobsen, pp. 289-310. De Gruyter Mouton.
  • 2015 (with Stephen Horn and Yuko Yanagida). “Differential object marking in Old Japanese: A corpus based study.” In Historical Linguistics 2013: Selected papers from the 21st International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Oslo, 5-9 August 2013, edited by Dag Haug, pp. 195-211. John Benjamins.
  • 2015. “Why romanize a corpus of (Old) Japanese?”.コーパスと日本語史研究 Corpus-Based Historical Studies in Japanese, edited by Yasuhiro Kondo, Makiro Tanaka, and Toshinobu Ogiso, pp. 167-175. Hituzi Syobo Publishing.
  • 2014. “Okkusufoodo joodai nihongo koopasu [オックスフォード上代日本語コーパス The Oxford Corpus of Old Japanese]”. Nihongogaku [published by Meiji Shoin], 33/14, pp. 42-54.
  • 2013. Japanese/Korean Linguistics 20. (edited with Peter Sells). Stanford: CSLI Publications
  • 2013. “Remarks on the verb suru in Old Japanese – A corpus based study. 上代日本語の「スル」について -- コーパスによる研究”. NINJAL Project ReviewVol.3 No. 3, pp. 152-77.
  • 2013. (with Stephen W. Horn, Kerri L. Russell, and Peter Sells). 2013. “Provisional and Conditional Clauses in Old Japanese.” Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics (= MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 67), edited by Umut Ozge, pp. 65-78.
  • 2013. 私が薦めるケンブリッジ大学出版局の本 The languages of Japan (Masayoshi Shibatani) [Watashi ga susumeru Kenburijji Daigaku Shuppankyoku no hon: The languages of Japan (Masayoshi Shibatani)]". Daigaku Shuppan 93, 16-17. Tokyo.
  • 2012. Studies in Japanese and Korean Linguistics (edited, with Jieun Kiaer and Janick Wrona). LINCOM.
  • 2012. "Chronological Layering in proto-Japanese and pre-Old Japanese Verb Inflection". In Frellesvig. Kiaer, Wrona 2012, pp. 28-47.
  • 2011. (with John Whitman). “Prenominal Complementizers and the Derivation of Complex NPs in Japanese and Korean”. Japanese/Korean Linguistics 18, pp. 73-87.
  • 2010. (with Stephen Horn, Kerri Russell and Peter Sells). “Verb Semantics and Argument Realization in Pre-Modern Japanese: A Preliminary study of Compound Verbs in Old Japanese”. Gengo Kenkyū 138:25-65.
  • 2010. A history of the Japanese language. Cambridge University Press

Photograph of Bjarke Frellesvig