John R. Bentley

Research Interests

My research covers two principle areas:

  • the history, phonology and etymology of Old Japanese (broadly defined as the language of the Asuka [592-710] and Nara [710-794] eras),
  • the literature of the Asuka and Nara eras. Much of my work has started from a philological point of view, looking at the actual texts of various works from these two eras. I also have done theoretical work on the history and lineage of Japanese, especially as it relates to two ancient kingdoms on the Korean peninsula, Paekche and Koguryo.

Representative Publications

Books

  • An Anthology of Kokugaku Scholars: 1690-1868. Ithaca: East Asian Program, Cornell University.
  • ABC Dictionary of Old Japanese Phonograms. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.
  • Tamakatsuma: a Window into the Scholarship of Motoori Norinaga. Ithaca: East Asian Program, Cornell University.
  • A Linguistic history of the forgotten islands: a reconstruction of the protolanguage of the Southern Ryūkyūs. 2008. Global Oriental Publishers (London).
  • The Authenticity of Sendai Kuji Hongi: A New Examination of Texts, with a Translation and Commentary. Leiden: Brill, 2006.
  • Historiographical trends in Early Japan. Edwin Mellen Press, May 2002.
  • A Descriptive Grammar of Early Old Japanese Prose. Brill Academic Publishers, 2001.

Articles

  • 2008: “The Search for the Language of Yamatai” Japanese Language and Literature (42.1), pp. 1-43.
  • 2006: “Gengogaku-teki na takara o himeru Nihon shoki” (Linguistic treasures hidden in Nihon shoki). Kokubungaku, (51.1), pp. 132-140.
  • 2006: “Seiyō ni okeru Nihongogaku no gairyaku—sono saisentan no kenkyū” (An Outline of Research in the West on the Japanese language—the state of the art). Bungaku gogaku, no. 185, pp. 147-49.
  • 2004: “Kudara to Kodai Nihon no bunka kōryū” (Cultural Exchange Between Paekche and Ancient Japan). In Kōsaku suru kodai—Nihon, Chūgoku, Chōsen hantō (Interplay of Ancient Cultures—Japan, China, and the Korean Peninsula), Tanaka Takaaki, editor, pp. 124-134.
  • "The Origin of Man'yôgana." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies64:1 (2001), 59-73.
  • "A New Look at Paekche and Korean: Data from Nihon shoki." Language Research 36:2 (2000), 417-443.
  • "Index of Ross King (1991) Russian Sources on Korean Dialects." Korean Linguistics, Vol. 10 (2000), 205-263.
  • "Toru in Old Japanese." Journal of East Asian Linguistics 8:2 (1999), 131-146.
  • "The Creation of Hitomaro, a Poetic Sage." In Dina Rudolph Yoshimi and Marilyn K. Plumlee, (Eds.), The Language of Life, The Life of Language: Selected Papers from the First College-wide Conference for Students in Languages, Linguistics and Literature. University of Hawai'i-Manoa: National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1998, 37-44.
  • "Japanese Kinship Terminology and Its Etymology." In Dina Rudolph Yoshimi and Marilyn K. Plumlee, (Eds.), The Language of Life, The Life of Language: Selected Papers from the First College-wide Conference for Students in Languages, Linguistics and Literature. University of Hawai'i-Manoa: National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1998, 153-158.

Book Chapters

  • 2018: “Yonaguni and the Southern Ryūkyūan Languages.” In Martine Robbeets, ed. The Oxford Guide to the Transeurasian Languages.” Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Forthcoming September 2018).
  • 2015: “Proto-Ryūkyūan”. In Patrick Heinrich and Shinsho Miyara, eds. Handbook of the Ryūkyūan Languages. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, pp. 39-60.
  • 2012: “The Birth and Flowering of Japanese Historiography: from chronicles to tales to historical interpretation”. In Sarah Foot and Chase Robinson, eds. Volume 2 of The Oxford History of Historical Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 58-79.
  • 2012: “Old Japanese”. In D. N. Tranter, ed. The Languages of Japan and Korea. London: Routledge, pp. 189-211.

Professor and Assistant Chair
Office: WH 120
P: 815-753-6451
jbentley1@niu.edu

Education

Ph.D., University of Hawaii, Japanese Language and Linguistics
M.A., University of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI), Japanese Language and Linguistics
B.A., Brigham Young University (Provo, UT), Japanese Language and Literature

Contact Us

World Languages and Cultures
Watson Hall 111
815-753-1501
askfl@niu.edu