Academic journal article Women and Language

Converging toward the Interlocutor: Sentence-Final Forms in Japanese Conversations

Academic journal article Women and Language

Converging toward the Interlocutor: Sentence-Final Forms in Japanese Conversations

Article excerpt

Converging Toward The Interlocutor: Sentence-Final Forms In Japanese Conversations. Rumi Terao and Erica Zimmerman, University of Arizona

Japanese is widely known as a language with distinctive feminine and masculine styles. Sentence-final forms are one of the areas where the gender-based differences are most explicit (Tsujimura 1996). Okamoto and Sato (1992) examined Japanese sentence-final forms in women's speech across generations and found that younger speakers used less stereotypical 'feminine forms.' Using a similar coding system as Okamoto and Sato's (1992), we categorized the sentence-final forms as 1) strongly feminine, 2) moderately feminine, 3) neutral, 4) moderately masculine, and 5) strongly masculine. Our study departs from previous studies in two ways. First, we examined speech of male speakers as well as females. Second, we separated single-sex and cross-sex interactions to investigate the influence of the addressee. The corpus consists of twelve dyads in natural settings. The participants were ages twenty-four to thirty-five and spoke standard Japanese. …

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