Nozomi Tanaka

Nozomi Tanaka

Assistant Professor, East Asian Languages & Cultures

Adjuct Assistant Professor, Linguistics

Adjuct Assistant Professor, Cognitive Science Program

Adjuct Assistant Professor, Southeast Asian and ASEAN Studies Program


  • Ph.D., University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • M.A., University of Pittsburgh

Research interests

I use experiments and corpora to investigate to what extent the grammatical patterns we find in languages (e.g., relative clause asymmetries, islands) can be explained in terms of processing factors and input characteristics. A major part of my work is concerned with how different populations―child first language learners, child and adult second language learners, heritage speakers, and the clinical populations—acquire, maintain, or lose the features of typologically different languages. My research centers on languages of Asia and the Pacific, such as Chinese, Japanese, Tagalog, and Ryukyuan, but I am always looking for new languages to work with.


  • EALC Uehara Outstanding Service Award, 2023
  • Trustees' Teaching Award, 2021

Representative publications

Examining main clause similarity and frequency effects in the production of Tagalog relative clauses (2022)
Tanaka, N., Bondoc, I. P., & Deen, K.
Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, 15 70–86

Subject advantage in L1-English learners’ production of Chinese relative clauses (2023)
Nozomi Tanaka and Alessia Cherici
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 52 405-424

Estimating cue strengths in oral production in a Japanese learner corpus (2022)
Nozomi Tanaka
Frontiers in Communication, 7

An experimental reassessment of complex NP islands with NP-scrambling in Japanese (2022)
Shin Fukuda, Nozomi Tanaka, Hajime Ono, & Jon Sprouse
Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, 7

The subject advantage in relative clauses: A review (2021)
Elaine Lau and Nozomi Tanaka
6 34

An asymmetry in the acquisition of relative clauses: Evidence from Tagalog (2019)
Nozomi Tanaka, William O’Grady, Kamil Deen and Ivan Paul Bondoc
First Language, 1.42724E+14

Integration of structural probabilities in speech production: Evidence from Japanese relative clauses (2019)
Amber Camp and Nozomi Tanaka
Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019, 3295–3298

Agrammatism in Tagalog: voice and relativisation (2018)
Ivan Paul Bondoc, William O’Grady, Kamil Deen and Nozomi Tanaka
Aphasiology, 32 (5), 598-617

Investigating relative clause island effects in native and nonnative adult speakers of Japanese (2018)
Nozomi Tanaka and Bonnie Schwartz
BUCLD 42: Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, 2 750–763

L1 acquisition of Japanese transitive verbs: How do children acquire grammar in the absence of clear evidence? (2014)
Nozomi Tanaka and Yasuhiro Shirai
CSLI. 21 281-295