Sociolinguistics in Japanese Contexts

By Tetsuya Kunihiro; Fumio Inoue et al. | Go to book overview

17. Group language and its emergence

0. Introductory notes by the editors

The content of this chapter is related to that of the preceding one. As the two treat different examples from different points of view, both were chosen for translation and inclusion in the present volume. However, portions covered in the proceeding chapter and examples irrelevant to the theory have been omitted. Here the author deals with three kinds of group language: argot, occupational language and slang. Although the examples are taken from daily events, the theoretical treatment is noteworthy. Japanese studies of slang and group jargon since have been carried out within the framework of this analysis.

Because this article was originally written and published in Japanese in 1956, some of the data described is no longer current, but it serves as a reminder and a record of the situation in Japan after the war.


1. Three kinds of group language

1.1. Argot in department stores

People may sometimes have noticed clerks in the Mitsukoshi department store saying in a low voice, “I’m just going to kiza”, and then leaving their counters. However, a person noticing this would no doubt be at a loss as to what kiza referred to. At Mitsukoshi it is an argot term for ‘lunch’. In addition to this, shinkaku means ‘toilet’, onari, ‘a customer’ and kiinotsu, ‘shoplifter’.

Not only Mitsukoshi, but the Shirokiya and Takashimaya department stores as well have each developed their own special argot for ‘lunch’ and ‘toilet’, ‘customer’ and ‘shoplifter’. This is to avoid any unpleasantness which might be caused to the customer by the direct use of words like these.

In addition to the existence of this kind of argot, in some department stores employees are directed to use a specific type of language in dealing with customers. For example, instead of the expression Ne ga takai (‘The price is expensive’), in one store they are instructed to use O-nedan ga haru, which involves an honorific expression of the word ne, and instead of inaka no hito (‘a person from the country’) and onoborisan (‘a country person visiting Tokyo’), which are ruled out because of their “country bumpkin” nuance, they are instructed to use chihô no o-kata, ‘a gentleman (lady) from a rural area’, in which the honorific term o-kata is used instead of the neutral hito.

This kind of “store language” is designed to have a pleasant effect on customers, in the hope of contributing, however discretely, to attracting more customers to the store. It is an absolute necessity for new people joining the staff of such stores to study this argot and “store language”, and the Mitsukoshi department store reputedly provides one week of practical language training for all new

-301-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sociolinguistics in Japanese Contexts
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 492

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.