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Palgrave Macmillan

Thanking and Politeness in Japanese

Balancing Acts in Interaction

ISBN 9781137009869
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Thanking and Politeness in Japanese: Balancing Acts in Interaction synthesizes previous work on thanking, politeness and Japanese pragmatics and crystallises the theoretical underpinnings of thanking, how it is realized linguistically and the social meaning and significance of this aspect of Japanese communication. The book employs three empirical studies to reveal conversational participants' collaborative work in thanking episodes, specifically, their acts of balancing obligations. It illuminates the mutually dependent nature of social interaction in Japanese and beyond, and suggests a new theoretical framework in understanding what is expected in social interaction across the languages. This is the definitive work on how Japanese people thank one another, and will provide ongoing value to second language Japanese teachers, textbook writers and academics seeking to make sense of, and define, this beautifully subtle, complex yet essential speech act in Japanese.

Jun Ohashi is a lecturer at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia. His research interests include cross-cultural pragmatics; communicative acts of thanking and their social meaning in Japan and Australia; gendered and generational variation of speech act realization; and cross-cultural investigation of public signs and exhortations. Jun is the author of various articles and book chapters.

1. Introduction
2. Review of data elicitation methods
3. Revealing patterns: Descriptive empirical norms (Studies 1 and 2)
4. What Japanese native speakers actually do in thanking episodes in naturally occurring telephone conversations
5. Implications of the studies in relation to teaching Japanese language and current debate on face and politeness


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