Yoko Yamazaki


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Works at Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies Finnish Dutch and German
Telephone 08-674 71 37
Postal address Institutionen för slaviska och baltiska språk finska nederländska 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a researcher in the (pre-)history of Lithuanian, with a special interest in the Baltic and Indo-European comparative linguistics.

A few twists of fate led me to Stockholm University to study Lithuanian and the Baltic languages for my PhD dissertation with Professors Jenny Larsson and Pētris Vanags at the Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German. From August 10th 2018, I am a postdoctoral fellow at this institution funded by the program, International Postdoc, from Vetenskapsrådet. The theme of the project is the historical development of the Baltic preterit system. This program enables me to conduct my research at the University of Zurich for a research stay from October 2018 to 2021.

Brief Biography

Postdoctoral research

  • Aug. 2018 --
    International Postdoc at Stockholm University / University of Zurich
  • Feb. 2018 -- Aug. 2018
    Postdoctoral fellow with the financial support of Åke Wibergs Stiftelse
  • Jul. 2017 -- Oct. 2017
    Postdoctoral fellow with the financial support of Helge Ax:son Johnsons Stiftelse

Doctoral research

  • Aug. 2012 -- Oct. 2016
    Doktorand at the Department for Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German, Stockholm University (PhD degree in Baltic languages, Sept. 2016)
  • Apr. 2012 -- Aug. 2012
    Part-time lecturer at Division of Behavioral Studies, Kyoto University
  • Sept. 2010 -- Jun. 2011
    Special Student at Linguistics Department, Harvard University
  • Apr. 2007 -- Mar. 2012
    Doctoral student at Linguistics Department, Kyoto University

Master's Degree

  • Apr. 2005 -- Mar. 2007
    Master's degree in general linguistics, Linguistics Department, Kyoto University


Awards and distinctions

  • Prize for outstanding scientific works 2015-2016 (Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien)
  • Fulbright Award, Doctoral Dissertation Research (2010-2011)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Research Fellowship for Young Scientists DC2 (2008-2010)




1 Peer-reviewed original articles

  • Yoko Yamazaki “Monosyllabic circumflexion or shortening? — The treatment of the long vowels in the 3rd person future forms in Lithuanian —” Indogermanische Forschungen, Vol. 119, 2014, 339–354.
  • Yoko Yamazaki “The Saussure effect in Lithuanian.” The Journal of Indo-European Studies, Vol. 37 No. 3 & 4, 2009, 430–461.

2 Monographs

  • Yoko Yamazaki Monosyllabic Circumflexion in Lithuanian, PhD thesis, Stockholm University 2016.

3 Research review articles

  • Jenny Larsson, Kristina Bukelskytė-Cepelė, and Yoko Yamazaki “Report from the Second Joint Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies held at Yale University, 13–15 March 2014.” Baltu filoloģija 23 (1), 2014, 129–132.

4 Book chapters

  • Yoko Yamazaki “A Revisit to the Root Vocalism of Lith. dãvė / dial. dẽvė ‘gave’ ” to appear in an untitled collection (Festschrift), submitted on 12th January 2018.
  • Yoko Yamazaki “Balto-Slavic accentology, schools” to appear in Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics, René Genis and Marc L. Greenberg (ed.), accepted for publication on August 1st, 2017.



A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. Yoko Yamazaki (et al.).

    This PhD thesis examines a phenomenon known as Monosyllabic Circumflexion (MC, hereafter) from a historical linguistics / phonological point of view. MC denotes a Lithuanian or Balto-Slavic phenomenon according to which long vowels and diphthongs in monosyllabic words exhibit a circumflex tone instead of the expected acute tone.  It is observed in the following four categories:

    I. 3rd person future forms of monosyllabic stems (e.g., šõksšókti `to jump;' vy͂svýti `to drive')

    II. reflexes of PIE root nouns (e.g., Latv. gùovs `cow;' Lith. šuõ `dog')

    III. prepositions/adverbs (e.g., nuõ `from' ~  nùotaka `bride;' vė͂l `again' ~ Latv. vêl `still, yet,' tė͂ (permissive particle) < *teh1)

    IV. pronominal forms (e.g., tuõ ~ gerúoju `the good (m.~sg.~instr.),' tie͂ ~ tíeji `id. (pl.nom)').

    The unexpected circumflex tone in these categories is problematic and important for the solution of a Balto-Slavic accentological question on the etymological background of acute and non-acute tones. The aim of this thesis is to partially contribute to the solution of this problem by establishing the existence of MC and its relative chronology.

    The first category, the 3rd person future forms, provides a substantial number of examples and counterexamples. The examination of them has revealed the fact that the counterexamples constitute a morpho-semantic group of verbs whose future stems underwent considerable morphological changes in the prehistory, hence not exhibiting MC. This shows that the regular tonal reflex of the 3rd person future forms of monosyllabic acute stem must be circumflex, allowing for the establishment of MC as a regular phonological process, although this category does not provide much information on the relative chronology of MC. The second category, the reflexes of Proto-Indo-European root nouns, gives an important clue as to where MC is located in the relative chronology of Balto-Slavic sound changes. Next, there is a discussion of whether the results of the examinations of the first two categories can be maintained for the data of the third and fourth categories, which show an irregular distribution of the acute and circumflex tones in monosyllabic forms. It is shown that various morphological factors, such as homonymic clashes within the paradigms for pronouns, can explain why some monosyllabic forms have acute tone. Also, the linguistic feature of West Aukštaitian dialects of Lithuanian that tend to preserve the results of MC is revealed. These dialects are known to have played an important role in the formation of standard Lithuanian.

    In this way, the monosyllabic forms with unexpected circumflex tone in Lithuanian are explained as a combination of MC in the Proto-Balto-Slavic time and the dialectal tendency of West Aukštaitian dialects of Lithuanian.

  • 2014. Yoko Yamazaki. Indogermanische Forschungen 119 (1), 339-354

    The Lithuanian 3rd person future forms of monosyllabic acute stems arementioned as one of the categories where the examples of a phenomenoncalled “monosyllabic circumflexion” or “monosyllabic metatony” are found,e.g., dúotiduõs ‘to give.’ However, there are several exceptions, e.g., lìs (lýti ‘to rain’), bùs ( būti ‘to be’), etc. Yet, the condition of the exceptionshas not been fully analyzed in the context of the verbal systeminvolving other tense paradigms. In this paper, a thorough examination willbe conducted on the 3rd person future forms and their paradigms in Lithuanian.It is found that the verbs which have shortened 3rd person future formsalways have the nasal infix present. Based on this result, a possible interpretationwill be presented as to how certain 3rd person future forms have beenshortened. Also, I will propose that the shortening of the 3rd person futureforms is a secondary development, whereas MC could be the regular processfor the 3rd person future forms.

  • 2014. Kristina Bukelskyte-Cepele, Jenny Larsson, Yoko Yamazaki. Baltu filoloģija 23 (1), 129-132

    This is a report of a joint conference of Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) and the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies (SASS) held at Yale University in 2014. The report features the papers/talks on Baltic linguistics, ranging from cultural aspects of the languages and lexicographic matters to linguistic aspects such as etymology and word formation.

Show all publications by Yoko Yamazaki at Stockholm University

Last updated: October 22, 2018

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