Yumiko Nishi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Research Interests

Her primary research areas have been verb semantics and the second language acquisition of aspect. She is particularly interested in discovering how learners’ semantic representations of verbs in L1 affect the learning of verb semantics in L2, and how this interacts with the acquisition of aspectual morphology in L2. In most of her projects, she pursues a cross-linguistic approach in order to explore how underlying universal patterns are manifested in the process of language acquisition/development, or in the representation of languages, as well as to identify cross-linguistic variations and their significance. She also investigates how these findings can be applied to language pedagogy, in particular, the teaching of Japanese as a second/foreign language.

Courses Taught

Linguistics and SLA:

  • JPNS:3128 - Introduction to Japanese Linguistics
  • JPNS:3401 - Language in Japanese Society
  • JPNS:3402 - Japan: Culture and Communication
  • SLA:6901 - Second Language Acquisition Research and Theory


  • JPNS:3500 - Japanese for Professional Purposes I
  • JPNS:3501 - Japanese for Professional Purposes II


Yumiko Nishi, Ph.D.
Ph.D. in Linguistics with a minor in Cognitive Studies, Cornell University
M.A. in Linguistics, Cornell University
M.A. in Japanese Pedagogy, Ochanomizu University
B.A. in Japanese Linguistics, Japan Women’s University
Contact Information

663 Phillips Hall (PH)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States