Female Speakers of Japanese in Transition

れいのるず秋葉, かつえ
Reynolds, Katsue A.
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Japanese is known as a language in which the women’s and men’s talk are much more remarkably different. However, when one inspects the ways in which Japanese women talk at a variety of social levels, a complex interaction between social and language change emerges, and changes during the post-war era have and an incalculable impact on women’s perceptions of reality, giving rise to “status conflict” (Pharr 1984) in various areas of social life. Language use is one such area: the female/male speech dichotomy stands in obvious contradiction to the new social order based on egalitarian ideology. This paper first review the morpho-syntactic rules of women’s language, then discuss some observed cases of status conflict to show the complexity of social change and linguistic change.
assertion reduction, formality, politeness, hearer-orientation, male speech, female speech, status conflict, onna-rashiku, social roles, linguistic equality
Female speakers of Japanese in transition," in S. Ide & N. McGloin (eds.), Aspects of Japanese Women's Language, Tokyo: Kuroshio Shuppan, pp.129-146. .
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