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ERIC Number: ED401757
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Acquaintance or Fiancee: Pragmatic Differences in Requests between Japanese and Americans.
Kubota, Mitsuo
Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, v12 n1 p23-38 Spr 1996
A study investigated differences in the speech styles used in making requests among five native speakers of Japanese (JJ), five American learners of Japanese (AJ), and Americans speaking English (AE) and their implications for intercultural communication. All subjects were adults. Data were elicited in role-plays of a scenario including the face-threatening situation of making a request of a supervisor. Results show differences in the order of speech acts indicating request and reasoning in JJs and AJs; all AJs explained the situation before making the request, while four JJs made the request first. Content of the semantic formulas in each group varied in the style of the request opening, but no significant patterns emerged. JJs expressed desire explicitly but only one asked for permission explicitly. AJ requests were very implicit, and AE requests were explicit. It is concluded that results show differences between Japanese and American business cultures. Follow-up interviews with the subjects indicated that while the Americans were aware of Japanese speech style rules, they did not necessarily try to follow them, seeking instead a non-offensive style within which they were comfortable. Speech samples are appended. Contains 16 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A