Manipulation of Honorifics in First-Encounter Conversations in Japanese

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195228
Title:
Manipulation of Honorifics in First-Encounter Conversations in Japanese
Author:
Yamaji, Harumi
Issue Date:
2008
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This study quantitatively and qualitatively examines honorific usage in casual first-encounter conversations between two relatively young people from similar backgrounds. The issues of concern are the frequency of use of addressee and referent honorifics, different types and forms of referent honorifics, reasons behind speech style shifts between honorific and non-honorific forms, and gender differences in honorific usage.Overall, addressee honorifics were predominantly used compared to plain forms, while the use of referent honorifics was limited in the data. The rate of honorific usage ranged greatly depending on the speaker and the conversation. Using too few addressee honorifics, however, has a possibility of offending the addressee in this speech context.Additionally, it was found that female speakers did not necessarily speak more politely (i.e., use more honorifics) than male speakers. The addressee's gender seemed to influence the rate of use of honorifics. Female speakers' use of addressee honorifics was higher in mixed-sex conversations than in single-sex conversations while the opposite was true with male speakers. As for referent honorifics, both genders tended to use more of them in single-sex conversations.As for speech style shifts between honorific forms and non-honorific forms, several contexts in which these were observed are reported. Self-directed questions and expression of feelings, thoughts, and opinions were the two most likely contexts for speech style shifts between addressee honorifics and plain forms. It appears that such style shifts occur to separate the utterances from the main course of conversation to signal that the utterance is not deliberately addressed to the addressee, that the focus is on meaning, or that the utterance constitutes a subspace embedded in the main floor rather than the main floor itself. Additionally, utterance type, increased familiarity with the addressee, speech style adjustment, and the introduction of new topics are suggested as possible contexts for speech style shifts between referent honorifics and non-honorific forms.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Japanese; honorifics; politeness; discourse analysis; sociolinguistics; language and gender
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
East Asian Studies; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Jones, Kimberly
Committee Chair:
Jones, Kimberly

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleManipulation of Honorifics in First-Encounter Conversations in Japaneseen_US
dc.creatorYamaji, Harumien_US
dc.contributor.authorYamaji, Harumien_US
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis study quantitatively and qualitatively examines honorific usage in casual first-encounter conversations between two relatively young people from similar backgrounds. The issues of concern are the frequency of use of addressee and referent honorifics, different types and forms of referent honorifics, reasons behind speech style shifts between honorific and non-honorific forms, and gender differences in honorific usage.Overall, addressee honorifics were predominantly used compared to plain forms, while the use of referent honorifics was limited in the data. The rate of honorific usage ranged greatly depending on the speaker and the conversation. Using too few addressee honorifics, however, has a possibility of offending the addressee in this speech context.Additionally, it was found that female speakers did not necessarily speak more politely (i.e., use more honorifics) than male speakers. The addressee's gender seemed to influence the rate of use of honorifics. Female speakers' use of addressee honorifics was higher in mixed-sex conversations than in single-sex conversations while the opposite was true with male speakers. As for referent honorifics, both genders tended to use more of them in single-sex conversations.As for speech style shifts between honorific forms and non-honorific forms, several contexts in which these were observed are reported. Self-directed questions and expression of feelings, thoughts, and opinions were the two most likely contexts for speech style shifts between addressee honorifics and plain forms. It appears that such style shifts occur to separate the utterances from the main course of conversation to signal that the utterance is not deliberately addressed to the addressee, that the focus is on meaning, or that the utterance constitutes a subspace embedded in the main floor rather than the main floor itself. Additionally, utterance type, increased familiarity with the addressee, speech style adjustment, and the introduction of new topics are suggested as possible contexts for speech style shifts between referent honorifics and non-honorific forms.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectJapaneseen_US
dc.subjecthonorificsen_US
dc.subjectpolitenessen_US
dc.subjectdiscourse analysisen_US
dc.subjectsociolinguisticsen_US
dc.subjectlanguage and genderen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEast Asian Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorJones, Kimberlyen_US
dc.contributor.chairJones, Kimberlyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberVance, Timothyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKaratsu, Marikoen_US
dc.identifier.proquest2699en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659749706en_US
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