Conference Announcements

CLJF 2018

Conference on the Language of Japanese Food

Fri, 04 May 2018 – Sat, 05 May 2018

In recent years, culinary linguistics, or ‘the language of food’ (Jurafsky 2014), has attracted the attention of scholars, with an increasing number of publications on the topic (e.g. Gerhardt et al. 2013; Szatrowski 2014; Matwick and Matwick 2014; Diederich 2015; Caballero 2017). The focus, however, has been mostly on Indo-European languages and food from Western cultures, although Szatrowski (2014) is a notable exception. At this conference, we will turn our attention to the language of Japanese food.

The conference aims to provide a venue to foster interactions among researchers with different specializations, collectively considering what aspect of language use can be revealed by examining a genre-specific language, in this case, the language of Japanese food.

The term ‘Japanese food’ is broadly construed, covering food consumed in Japan (native or foreign) and (localized) Japanese food consumed overseas. The linguistic data can come from a variety of sources, such as menus and recipes, cooking or food-related TV programs, manga, and magazines, food packages and advertisements, food blogs, and ceremonies and social gatherings.

The conference is open to a variety of approaches, but particularly welcomes work analyzed from the standpoint of Discourse Analysis, and Cognitive Linguistics, or their neighbouring fields of study, exploring questions such as (but not limited to):

  • Does the examination of the language of Japanese food reveal an emerging function of a grammatical/lexical item that is not common in other discourse genres?
  • How do Japanese describe a food-related term (e.g. shun ‘in season’) and what do the descriptions in each discourse context imply about their understanding of the term?
  • What are the underlying socio-cultural motivations for the use of a given linguistic item in Japanese food discourse?
  • What are the linguistic features of food blogs (e.g. use of non-expert language in bento-blogs) and do Japanese and North American blogs differ?
  • What can a cognitive approach (e.g. frame semantics, semantic-map, usage-based) tell us about the language of Japanese food?
  • To what extent are cognitive linguistic notions, such as subjectivity, force dynamics or Motion events, relevant to the characterization of the language of Japanese food?
  • How is iconicity instantiated in the language of Japanese food?
  • Can examination of the language of Japanese food bring a fresh perspective to on-going discussions of conceptual metaphors?

Keynote speakers

  • Dr. Masako Hiraga (Rikkyo University)
  • Dr. Polly Szatrowski (University of Minnesota)
  • Dr. Natsuko Tsujimura (Indiana University)

Call for papers

Submissions are invited for a conference on the Language of Japanese Food, at York University, Toronto, Canada, on May 4 and 5, 2018. The official language of the conference is English.

Please submit an anonymous one-page abstract in English, not exceeding 500 words including examples (references and tables/figures may be included on the second page), by November 15, 2017, in a property-free PDF format, via EasyAbs system (EasyAbs can be accessed between Oct. 2 and Nov. 15, 2017).

Authors may submit one individual and/or one co-authored abstract.

Important dates:

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: November 15, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: January 15, 2018
  • Conference: May 4-5, 2018

York University
Conference Website:

Toronto, Toronto