Journal article

Balancing obligations: Bowing and linguistic features in thanking in Japanese

Jun Ohashi

JOURNAL OF POLITENESS RESEARCH-LANGUAGE BEHAVIOUR CULTURE | MOUTON DE GRUYTER | Published : 2010

Abstract

This paper investigates how bows (formal lowering of the head or upper body) and linguistic features are integrated into conversational organizations of a thanking episode in Japanese. A role-play based on a real life thanking episode is used for the investigation. A set of role-play data involving 20 native speakers of Japanese is transcribed for both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The data shows that bows are systematically embedded into conversational organizations. The beneficiary bows with key speech formulae that acknowledge his/her debt, and the benefactor reciprocates a bow with ie ie (no, no) which plays down his/her credit. In other words, key speech formulae in balancing d..

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University of Melbourne Researchers