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R OLES A S T HE I MPLEMENTATION O F J APANESE P OLITENESS Presentation for Linguistic Seminar at Griffith University 12 March, 2012 Kwansei Gakuin University.

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Presentation on theme: "R OLES A S T HE I MPLEMENTATION O F J APANESE P OLITENESS Presentation for Linguistic Seminar at Griffith University 12 March, 2012 Kwansei Gakuin University."— Presentation transcript:

1 R OLES A S T HE I MPLEMENTATION O F J APANESE P OLITENESS Presentation for Linguistic Seminar at Griffith University 12 March, 2012 Kwansei Gakuin University Yasuko Obana yobana@kwansei.ac.jp

2 M AIN P OINTS 1. A brief history of politeness research 2. What is Role Theory? 3. Introducing Symbolic Interactionist Role Theory (SI Role Theory) 4. Application of SI Role Theory to Japanese politeness

3 1. A BRIEF HISTORY 1. Before Brown & Levinson (1987) Grice (1975) – Cooperative Principles Speech Act Theory – e.g. Lakoff, 1977; Leech, 1980, 1983; Searle, 1975 2. Brown & Levinson (1987) The concept of ‘face’ – Face Threatening Acts Positive and Negative Strategies

4 1. A BRIEF HISTORY 3. Controversies on Brown & Levinson (1987) (1) Their theory is Anglo-centred ‘face’ – individualism ‘strategies’ – direct strategies – not good? indirectness – always polite? (2) Intrinsic threats? No utterances are intrinsically threatening. Every utterance can be threatening. Politeness is situational.

5 2. W HAT IS R OLE T HEORY ? Role – how the self is formed in social relations with others social expectations interlocutors share in a given situation Social identity – ‘Who am I?’ in social psychology Social selves – changing behaviours different identities how you behave in a given situation how you identify yourself in relation to the other.

6 2. W HAT IS R OLE T HEORY ? Five major models of Role Theory 1. Functional Role Theory 2. Structural Role Theory 3. Organizational Role Theory 4. Cognitive Role Theory 5. Symbolic Interactionist Role Theory

7 3. S YMBOLIC I NTERACTIONISM (SI) 1. Symbols, meanings and interpretations Attention! 2. Interaction - contains certain symbols which communicators interpret and act accordingly - creates shared expectations 3. Roles in interaction - can be normative = role-taking - are creative - keep changing = role-making - can be negotiable

8 C OMMUNICATORS ? messages Person APerson B A and B are both participating to build up messages. They are not Speaker or Listener, responding to each other. Both of them reflect on their own utterances, joining together to achieve a certain communication.

9 4. J APANESE POLITENESS IN SI R OLE T HEORY 1. Direct and indirect requests Normative role Shizuka ni shi-te-kudasai. quiet do-TE-please (Please be quiet.) Role not recognised Shizuka ni shi-te-mora-e-mase-n ka? quiet do-TE-asking-possible-Polite-not Q (Would you not possibly be quiet, may I ask?)

10 4. J APANESE POLITENESS IN SI R OLE T HEORY 1. Direct and indirect requests 昼食の後、 1 時までにバスにお戻りください。 Chuushoku no ato, ichi-ji madeni basu ni lunch of after one-o’clock by bus to o-modori-kudasai. Hon- return-please (After lunch, please come back to the bus by one.)

11 4. J APANESE POLITENESS IN SI R OLE T HEORY 1. Direct and indirect requests こちらおひとりさまですので、こちらのテーブルに座っていただい てもよろ しいでしょうか。 Kochira o-hitori-sama desu node, kochira no this[Hon] Hon-alone-Hon Polite since this[Hon] of teeburu ni suwat-te-itadai-temo yoroshii-desho-o ka. table at sit-TE-ask[Hon]-if good[Hon]-Polite-Aux Q (This person is (attending the tour) alone. Would it be all right (with you) if (I) ask (this person) to sit (with you) at this table?)

12 4. J APANESE POLITENESS IN SI R OLE T HEORY 2. Role shifts and shifts in politeness strategies A1: ちょうど食事時だから、夕飯食べていかない? B1: え?なんか悪いなあ。もう失礼しないと。 A2: いいのいいの。ね、食べていってよ。 B2: そう?じゃ、遠慮なくごちそうになろうかな。 A1: Choodo shokuji-doki dakara, yuuhan tabe-te ika-nai? just meal-time because dinner eat-TE go-not B1: E? Nanka warui-naa. Moo shitsureshi-nai-to. oh somehow bad-MD soon leave-not-MD A2: Iino iino. Ne, tabe-te-it-te yo. no problem you see eat-TE-go MD B2: Soo? Ja, enryo naku gochisooninar-oo-kana. really OK without reserve have dinner-shall-MD (A1: It’s almost dinner time. Won’t you each dinner (here)? B1: Oh, I feel somehow bad (=I shouldn’t accept it). I must be going now. A2: No problem at all. Surely you should eat and go home, OK? B2: Really? OK, then I shouldn’t be so reserved. I shall have dinner. )

13 3. Speech level shifts and psychological role shifts Plus-level shifts Okamoto (2009) – irony Maynard (2001) – the speaker’s weak and vulnerable psychology Takeda (2011) – stressing the speaker’s opinion, confronting the listener switching to a different direction Barke (2011) – appearing calm and in control of the speaker’s emotions in conflict Yoshida & Sakurai (2005) – sudden awareness of the speaker’s sociocultural identity (e.g. as a wife) Cook (1997) – acting in role, Cook (2008) – acting on-stage

14 4. J APANESE POLITENESS IN SI R OLE T HEORY Plus-level shift A1: Un, dakara, koko-n toko, moo sukoshi rei o dashi-te. OK so this-of place more a few example Acc produce-TE B1: A, koko, ikutsu at-tara… I see here how many have-if A2: Un, soone, mittsu are-ba ii-n-ja-nai-kana. Mittsu sagas-eru? Mittsu. right hmm three have-if enough I think three find-can three B2: Aa, hai, dekiru to omoi-masu. well yes can Quote think-polite A3: A, soshitara, sooya-ne, kaki-naoshi-tee, raishuu teishutsushi-te-kudasai. OK then let’s see write-revise-TE next week submit-TE-please B3: Hai, ganbat-te-mi-masu (warai). yes make effort-TE-try-Polite (laugh) (A1: OK, so in this part, (you) need a few examples. B1: I see. In here. How many possibly? A2: Right, let’s see… three would be sufficient, I think. Can you find three? Three. B2: Well, yes I think I can. A3: OK, then, let’s see. Rewrite (this part) and submit (it) next week, please. B3: Yes, I’ll try (to complete it). )

15 3. Speech level shifts and psychological role shifts Minus-level shifts Ikuta (1983) – empathy with the listener Takeda (2011) – monologue type, expressing emotions devotion to the talk

16 Minus-level shift... Nengan no ie mo kat-ta.... zenryoku de hatarai-ta. dream of hous too buy-Past all efforts with work-Past... Tokoroga, ie o kat-ta-totanni, nanika ga kawat-te-shimat-ta. However house Acc buy-Past-once something Nom change-TE- happen-Past... Tsuma ni fuman ga aru-wakedewa-nai. wife to discontent Nom have-reason-not... Sonna toki ni anata ni deat-ta. Mainichi mite-iru-uchini anata to such time at you with meet-Past every day look-Prog-while you with ichido de ii-kara dansu o odot-te-mitai to omou-yoo-ni-nat-ta. one time only good-since dance Acc dance-TE-try Quote came to think (...(I) purchased a dream house....worked very hard.... However, when (I) bought a house, (I felt) something changed.... (it) does not mean that (I) am not satisfied with my wife....Around that time I met you. Every day I watched you and eventually I came to wish to dance with you just once. ) (Masayuki Suo Scenario Collections, 2008:122)

17 O THERS Personal pronouns Co-participatory conversation Sumimasen vs. Arigatoo Yoroshiku onegaishimasu Repetition Listener response

18 Conclusion 1. Roles are recognised when the situation is defined and one sees one’s social identity through it. 2. Roles are determined through interaction, providing a set of guidelines for one’s behaviour. 3. Roles are dynamic, relational, and constantly improvised and created. 4. Roles determine linguistic forms of politeness. The choice of linguistic forms shows how one identifies one’s roles in interaction.


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