ERIC Number: ED395525
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Gender and Function of Language Use: Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence from Japanese.
Pragmatics and Language Learning, v3 p117-129 1992
A study used both a survey and observation to investigate the phenomenon of politer speech among Japanese women than among Japanese men. The survey of 256 men and 271 women, parents of college students at a college in Tokyo and representing a middle-class population, inquired about the respondents' personal use of polite forms of Japanese. It is noted that in this population, men are most likely to be businessmen and women are more likely to have a traditional role as housewife. Degree of politeness was then calculated for both men and women according to type of addressee (e.g., child, spouse, workplace superior), specific linguistic form, and frequency of interaction with the different types of addressee. Results suggest that what appear to be more polite speech among women is at least in part due to women's more frequent interaction with addressees requiring more polite speech forms. Patterns of politeness are characterized by two behaviors, deference and demeanor, which serve different functions in the interactions. Four features of women's language use (repertoire of personal pronouns, avoidance of vulgar expressions, hypercorrected honorifics, and sentence final particles) were then examined as they represent or are related to deference and demeanor behaviors. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Gender (Language); Politeness
Note: For complete volume, see FL 023 890.