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Dr. Holly Didi-Ogren


woman headshot Associate Professor

Phone: (609) 771-2890


Office: Bliss Hall 307

Spring 2023 student hours:

Monday and Thursdays 12:00 – 1:30pm (in office or Zoom)

To sign up for an appointment, click   here

Dr. Didi-Ogren holds a joint appointment in World Languages and Cultures and Sociology & Anthropology.

Degrees Earned

  • B.A. in Japanese Studies – Earlham College
  • M.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures – University of Illinois
  • M.A. and Ph.D. in (Linguistic) Anthropology – University of Texas at Austin

Courses Taught

  • Japanese language courses at all levels
  • Gender and Language (annually)
  • Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology (annually)
  • FSP: Language in Society (ocassionally)

Research Interests

  • Interactional sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, language and power, gender and language, Japan
  • Pragmatics in foreign-language teaching

Recent Research & Activities

My research program investigates gender, politeness and power in rural Japanese women’s language usage, and directly contributes to a growing body of work in linguistics and anthropology that addresses how gender is instantiated, negotiated and molded through its place in a constellation of mutually-operating features, and across utterances in face-to-face interactions. This program addresses how women in a rural Japanese community negotiate role and status through shifts between three sets of linguistic features: 1) social deictic markers (linguistic features that encode particular social relationships) such as desu/-masu and plain verb and adjective endings; 2) gender-neutral and gender-marked linguistic forms; and 3) the standard variety of Japanese and local language varieties (LLV).

I have also been working on a project with colleague Joseph Goebel that examines input in Japanese language education materials.

I am becoming increasingly interested in language and pragmatics, as a means of connecting my work as a linguistic anthropologist and as a teacher of Japanese language to non-native speakers.


Book review of Negotiation of Contingent Talk: The Japanese interactional particles ne and sa (Morita 2005). Discourse Studies. 2008.

The role of input in JFL university-level teaching materials: An examination of three widely-used
Proceedings of the 14th Princeton Japanese Pedagogy Forum: Princeton University. August, 2007: 216-226.

Negotiating geographic and temporal “locality” in rural Japanese women’s workplace settings. In Respect life, realize unity, and response to globalization: Proceedings of the 10th Annual Graduate Student/School Teacher Symposium on Japanese Studies.  Seton Hall University: Asian Studies Department. June, 2007: 39-48.

Book review of Beyond sex and gender.  Discourse and Society. May, 2005 16: 455 – 456.

Japanese and American folk vocabularies for emotions. With Futoshi Kobayashi and Diane Schallert.The Journal of Social Psychology: August 2003

Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Symposium About Language and Society – Austin (SALSA).  Texas Linguistic Forum: Department of Linguistics, University of Texas. 1998