Journal article

Linguistic rituals for thanking in Japanese: Balancing obligations

Jun Ohashi

JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 2008

Abstract

The paper investigates what can be described as a Japanese cultural way of thanking, o-rei ({A figure is presented}). The data of the investigation are naturally occurring telephone conversations which took place in the Japanese end-of-year gift-giving season, seibo. Sections of the conversations, which refer to favours or gifts that are given or received, are extracted and transcribed for a detailed investigation. This study reveals that conversational participants cooperate to achieve a mutual pragmatic goal of 'debt-credit' equilibrium. This is a symbolic settlement that is necessary to care for the conversational participants' debt-sensitive face. The linguistic ritual of o-rei serves to..

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University of Melbourne Researchers