Kiri Lee

Professor of Japanese
Director of Cognitive Science Program
403 Williams Hall
PhD, Harvard University


Japanese/Korean pragmatics; Heritage language education


Prof. Kiri Lee received her PhD in linguistics from Harvard University in 1993. Her research areas are Japanese pragmatics and heritage language education. In pragmatics, she has been working on comparative analyses of Japanese and Korean grammar collaborating with Korean linguists. Also, in her work on heritage language education, she pays special attentions to how the notion of “heritage language learner” is constructed, and how her findings can help young heritage speakers navigate in this globalizing world. 

Courses taught:
Elementary Japanese, Intermediate Japanese, Advanced Japanese, Introduction to Linguistics

Recent publications:


Constructing the Heritage Language Learner: Knowledge, Power, and New Subjectivities. (Co-authored with N. Doerr), Walter de Gruyter, Inc., Boston/Berlin, 2013.

Chapters in books:

Lee, Kiri and Doerr Neriko. 2019.「日本語学校における学習者のニーズの多様化」(“Heterogeneous needs of leaners in Japanese heritage schools” ) 『親と子をつなぐ継承語教育– 日本・外国にルーツを持つ子ども』(Heritage language education connecting generations : From the Japanese perspective). Edited by Kimi Kondo-Brown, Mitsuyo Sakamoto, and Tomomi Nishikawa, 147-159. Kuroshio Publisher.

Lee, Kiri, Young-mee Yu Cho, and Min-Young Park. 2018. “Unmarked Plurality and Specificity in Korean and Japanese Plural Nouns: A Preliminary Study.” International Perspectives on Translation, Education and Innovation in Japanese and Korean Societies. Edited by David G. Hebert, 121-132. Springer.

Lee, Kiri and Doerr Neriko. 2015. “Homeland Education in a New Home: Japanese Government Policy and Its Local Implementation in a Weekend Japanese Language School in the United States,”  Foreign Language Education in Japan: Exploring Qualitative Approaches. Edited by Horiguchi, S., Imoto, Y., Poole, 19-34. G. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Netherland.

Journal articles:

Lee, Kiri. 2022. “Learning to Lead,” in Special Section Language and Pedagogy: “Our Challenges and Triumphs: Female Asian Faculty in Leadership Positions in U.S. Colleges and Universities,” Japanese Language & Literature Vol 56 No 1, 235-241.

Lee, Kiri and Young-mee Yu Cho, 2017. "Social Meanings of Honorific/Non-honorific Alternaton in Korean and Japanese," Korean Linguistics Vol 17 No.2, 207-242.

Doerr, Neriko, and Kiri Lee. 2016. “Heritage Language Education without Inheriting Hegemony: Shifting Perspectives on “Korea” in a Weekend Japanese-Language School in the United States,” Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education Vol 10, Issue 2, 112-126.