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ERIC Number: ED328073
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Study of Japanese and American Perceptions of Politeness in Requests.
Kitao, Kenji
Doshisha Studies in English, n50 p178-210 Mar 1990
This study investigated the level of politeness of various forms of request made in English, as if spoken to an American, as perceived by college-level native speakers of English (n=80), Japanese speakers in the United States (n=34), and Japanese speakers in Japan (n=103). A semantic differential questionnaire measuring 10 levels of politeness was administered. The instrument consisted of three sections, namely: (1) ratings of requests that might be used in four situations; (2) ratings of frequency of use of request forms; and (3) demographic information, including language background. In the request situations used, relative status of the addressee is high in two situations, low in a third, and equal in the fourth. Familiarity was low and request magnitude small in all situations. Analysis of responses found support for almost all hypotheses concerning relative politeness of request forms, including the use of interrogatives, declaratives, imperatives with and without tag questions, tense, use of modals, positively and negatively worded requests, requests with tags, and negative politeness. No significant differences in perceptions were found between Americans and Japanese, but the Japanese in the United States perceived the requests as more polite than the other Japanese. The questionnaire is appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Japan; Politeness; Requests