This paper discusses the interrelationship between language and the identity of the speaker including gender, age and social status by examining the interactional function of a Japanese sentence-final particle na. It is well known that the particle na has similar functions to ne which is one of the most frequently used among sentence-final particles, while it differs from ne in a way that its use has some restrictions in terms of the speaker's gender, age and social status: for example, na is used by male speakers only; when na is used with the polite form desu/masu, it indicates that the speaker is an aged male with a certain social status. To date, however, little research has systematically examined the mechanism of how na indicates the speaker's particular gender, age and social status. This study provides a comprehensive account for the unexplored usages of na and sheds light on some aspects of the nature of the language-identity interface as to how the speaker's identity can be presented through the use of language. The study will claim that the indication of the speaker's gender, age and social status is not a genuine property of na. Rather, the particle has the function that indicates the speaker's attitude of sharing 'camaraderie' with the hearer, in addition to its 'incorporative' function, and this 'camaraderie' function in connection with sociocultural values on gender and formality in the Japanese language is the primary factor that restricts its use with regard to the speaker's gender, age and social status.
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Event||The 18th of Biennial Conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia - Canberra Australia|
Duration: 1 Jan 2014 → …
|Conference||The 18th of Biennial Conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia|
|Period||1/01/14 → …|