Conversational Dominance and Gender: A Study of Japanese by Hiroko Itakura

By Hiroko Itakura

This e-book investigates the inspiration of conversational dominance intensive, and seeks to set up a scientific approach to analysing it. It additionally deals a brand new perception into the function of gender and the pragmatic move of conversational norms within the first and moment language conversations between local audio system of Japanese.
Drawing upon a serious synthesis of insights from a number of diverse fields, together with dialog research, the Birmingham tuition of discourse research, and dialogical research, the writer proposes an cutting edge analytical framework for operationalising the idea that of dominance in dialog. She then applies this framework to the empirical research of jap audio system’ L1 and L2 conversations, discovering direct facts for the real function of gender and pragmatic move in conversational dominance.

By integrating quantitative and qualitative methods to discourse research, the writer deals a brand new point of view into the pragmatic move of conversational norms. She does so through demonstrating how the proposal of self-oriented and other-oriented conversational kinds and techniques can impact the extent of move of interactional behaviour otherwise for female and male audio system.

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Extra info for Conversational Dominance and Gender: A Study of Japanese Speakers in First and Second Language Contexts

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30 respondents (15 native speakers of American English) and 15 advanced Japanese ESL speakers (colleague graduates) were asked to fill in what they would say in each situation. The results showed that, in Situation I (higher to lower), 11 out of 13 Japanese speakers reported that they would criticise the lower status interlocutor (company assistant), as compared to 7 out of 14 native speakers of American English. According to Beebe and T. Takahashi, these results support their hypothesis that Japanese ESL speakers transfer the L1 norm of not avoiding disagreement when speaking to an interlocutor with a lower status.

If, later on in the day, she were asked by a fellow member of the company about the president’s whereabouts, the secretary would probably use an exalted expression about her boss, but a polite, or possibly plain, style to the person speaking to her. If, however, a visitor were to arrive from elsewhere and inquire after the company president, the secretary would use a humble (albeit polite) expression about her boss. Precisely because the visitor is an outsider, the secretary places her boss and herself in the same in-group, using a humble expression to signify the visitor’s superior status.

Indeed, recent studies have contradicted some of her claims. For example, Coates’ (1996: 191–201) analysis of recorded data questions Lakoff’s statement that women’s use of tag questions is symptomatic of their lack of confidence and suggests that women’s tag questions can, in fact, be expressions of powerful speech. Since Lakoff’s influential article, many studies have been conducted on the relationship between gender and language or discourse. In this section I will review approaches investigating gender and language under 5 headings: (1) gender markers (2) gender and dominance in interaction (3) construction of gender in context (4) conversational styles and (5) conversational competence.

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