Mark Irwin was born in Ulster in 1967 and is a dual national of the UK and the Irish Republic. He holds a BA and MA from Cambridge University and an MA and PhD from Sheffield University. He has lived in Japan since 1995 and, prior to Yamagata University, has worked for Hokkaido University and the Hachinohe City Education Board (Aomori Prefecture). He has also been a Project Collaborator at the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics in Tokyo. His current research topics include Japanese sociolinguistics, phonology and historical linguistics. He is author of Japanese Linguistics and Loanwords in Japanese.