Contrastive studies: past, present and future

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    At a setting of the foreign(or second) language education, understanding(dis)similarities between a target language and the students' mother tongue is not only useful for predicting the tendencies of errors that the students may typically make, but the degree of such(dis)similarities(i.e. how far and in what aspects the two language are different each other) would greatly influence the contents and approaches of a curriculum. If a teacher understands such(dis)similarities he/she would be able to manage his/her courses more effectively by preparing teaching materials and conducting classes in the way to avoid students' typical errors. Contrastive study of linguistics aims to clarify the(dis)similarities between two languages in connection with the foreign language acquisition. The aim of the current study is to detail the background of contrastive study, its development and changes, and future prospect. Contrastive study may, from a macro perspective, indicate a sub-discipline of linguistics as in Contrastive Linguistics, while it may, from a micro perspective, indicate a variety of investigations at various units/levels of linguistics as in contrastive analysis. Further, It has two aspects. One is its close relation with foreign language learning, as noted above. The other is its close connection with linguistics, that is, the research trend of contrastive study has changed along with those in(applied) linguistics. In this regard, it is important to note that an approach based on a large size of data or corpus is already a strong trend in linguistics, and that this trend is also appearing in contrastive studies. It is expected that such a trend will continue and further be expanded in contrastive studies in future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-103
    JournalJournal of Japanese Language
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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