An analysis of the distributions of personal reference terms in modern Japanese and Korean

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This study explores the use of personal reference terms (PRTs) in modern Japanese and Korean from a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural point of view. It is well known that both Japanese and Korean are rich in PRTs and their use is closely related to biographical factors such as the social status, age and gender of interlocutors as well as the level of situational familiarity (e.g. Lim, 2001; Oh, 2010). The study will take a macro approach and clarify the distributional differences of the use of PRTs in Japanese and Korean. By doing so, it will highlight the unique socio-linguistic features of each language. First, the study divides the PRTs used in three Japanese TV drama series and their Korean remake versions into five categories: (i) pronouns (i.e. personal pronouns, reflexive pronouns and demonstrative pronouns), (ii) kinship terms, (iii) names (i.e. last names, first names and full names), (iv) occupations and positions, and (v) other nouns, and provides an overview of a tendencies in the use of PRTs in each language (e.g. What types of PRTs are used more/less frequently in each language etc.). Second, the study observes and compares detailed distributions of the PRTs in three categories (i.e. (i) pronouns, (ii) kinship terms and (iii) nouns) of both Japanese and Korean, which particularly exhibit the significant differences between the two languages, and discusses the unique features of each language in the use of PRTs. The study will ultimately show that Japanese has a more distinguished 'personal pronoun system' compared to Korean, while Korean has a more distinguished 'kinship term system' compared to Japanese, and is further characterised as a 'social-relationship-oriented' language.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-64
    JournalJournal of Japanese Language
    Volume48
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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