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You can e-mail me at: hoji [at] usc.edu
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Department of Linguistics
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California 90089-1693
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Research Interests
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2/19/2019
Once they have reached a certain maturational stage, every member of the human species is able to produce and comprehend the language to which s/he is exposed, barring any serious impairment. Underlying this ability of ours to relate linguistic sounds/signs (henceforth just "sounds" to make the exposition simpler) and meaning is the language faculty: this is one of the most fundamental working hypotheses adopted in the research program initiated by Noam Chomsky over half a century ago.

The aim of Chomsky's research program is to discover the properties of the language faculty, in its initial state and in its steady state. It is hypothesized that in its initial state, the language faculty, as the genetic endowment that underlies our ability to relate sounds and meaning, is uniform across the members of the species and that, in its steady state where its non-trivial "growth" has stopped, it varies in accordance with one's linguistic experience, within the limit imposed by the genetic endowment. The research program is also concerned with how the universal properties in question might be related to laws that govern the nature, beyond the language faculty per se, and how the language-particular properties are acquired.

My research has been concerned with how hypotheses about the language faculty can be put to rigorous empirical test. In Language Faculty Science (Cambridge University Press, 2015), I propose how we can deduce definite and testable predictions, and illustrate how we test our predictions and how we can obtain experimental results that are very close to our definite predictions.

As it has turned out, definite predictions must be in the form of predicted correlations of schematic asymmetries (roughly, correlations of definite patterns of judgments). The results of an experiment conducted in Japan in the spring of 2017, consisting of over 100 Experiments, with about 200 informants, seem to provide compelling support for the proposed methodology. In every one of the ten Main-Experiments, its results are exactly in line with our categorical predictions.

It is generally agreed that it is not possible outside physics and its closely related fields to deduce definite predictions and expect to obtain experimental results in line with such predictions. I argue that it is indeed possible. The slogan of my research continues to be: language faculty science as an exact science is possible; yes, it is. Some may say that I am a dreamer. But I am not the only one. I hope that, upon reading Language Faculty Science and Experiment and Demonstration in Language Faculty Science (that I am trying to complete), others will join us.