Style shifting in Japanese native/non-native conversation: an in depth analysis of short/long form usage

  • Author / Creator
    Smith, Jenna L
  • There are two distinct styles of predicates in Japanese: the long form and the short form. The former is associated with politeness/formality, while the latter is reserved for more intimate social settings.

    It is expected that when the relationship of the speakers and the setting remains the same, speakers will use one form. However, studies on native speakers show mixing of the two forms, known as style shifting, occurs even when the factors mentioned earlier remain constant.

    This study examines short and long form usage and style shifting in conversations between native and non-native speakers. Similar to native speakers, the majority of native/non-native dyads shared a dominant speech style, and all speakers (including the non-native speakers) engaged in style shifting. A closer look at individual conversations showed the non-native speakers’ awareness of what forms they were using, and evidence of style shifting serving specific discourse functions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Japanese Language and Linguistics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Ono, Tsuyoshi (East Asian Studies)
    • Li, Xiaoting (East Asian Studies)
    • Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)