J. Marshall Unger
Fellow: Awarded 2004
Field of Study: Linguistics
Competition: US & Canada
James Marshall Unger chaired academic departments at the University of Hawai’i, University of Maryland, and the Ohio State University from 1988 to 2004, and has been a visiting professor/researcher at Kobe University, Tsukuba University, the University of Tokyo, and the National Museum for Ethnography in Senri, Japan. In addition to his Guggenheim Fellowship, he has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation and Japan Foundation (twice), and several research grants. He is the author of Studies in Early Japanese Morphophonemics (1977, 2nd ed. 1993), The Fifth Generation Fallacy (1987, Japanese ed. 1992), Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan (1996, Japanese ed. 2001), Ideogram: Chinese Characters and the Myth of Disembodied Meaning (2004), and The Role of Contact in the Origins of the Japanese and Korean Languages (2009). He led the team that produced A Framework for Introductory Japanese Language Curricula in American High Schools and Colleges in 1993 as part of a joint College Board-NEH project coordinated by the National Foreign Language Center. His articles and reviews have appeared in such fora as Language, Word, Diachronica, Journal of Japanese Studies, Monumenta Nipponica, Journal of Asian Studies, Japanese Language & Literature, Journal of the American Oriental Society, and Modern Language Journal. Avocationally, Unger is a trustee of Chamber Music Columbus, plays piano in amateur chamber ensembles, and is the faculty advisor of the Weiqi/Igo/Patwuk Club at Ohio State.
(When Unger’s first paper was published in 1971, “J. M. Unger” was already listed in the Bibliography of Asian Studies, so he has always used “J. Marshall Unger” as an author. The other J. M. Unger is Jonathan Mark Unger, who writes on contemporary China, teaches at the Australian National University, and is the nephew of Leonard Howard Unger, a 1953 Guggenheim Fellow.)