This study aims to investigate the use of the second person pronoun anata 'you' in Japanese parliamentary discourse. Previously in the literature of Japanese linguistics, the function of anata has been treated in a contradictory manner: It is viewed as 'polite' (or 'neutral') in some studies, while it is seen as 'impolite' in others. Many researches point out that in daily conversation anata is often avoided since its use is a matter of great delicacy. Contrary to the infrequent use of anata in daily conversation, Parliamentary discourse gives us an abundance of examples. This study analyses three different environments in the data drawn from the database 'Diet Conference Minutes Retrieval System'. The first case is where anata is selected in reported speech to refer to non-specific individual in the described situation. Second is the occurrence of anata in aggressive debates. The third case is where anata is used together with a conventionalized address term such as "Prime Minister". From analyzing the discourse, I draw the hypothesis that anata is a particular Japanese personal pronoun which does not index the social status of the hearer but absolutely specifies the second person in the conversational situation. It is the norm in Japanese society that the speaker indexes the relative social status with the hearer when addressing the second person (i.e. hearer). This study will demonstrate the use of anata to indicate the absolute specification of the hearer without implying the relative social status with the speaker and because of this property anata can be perceived as both positively and negatively. In addition, I will discuss the use of anata as an interpersonal involvement cue.
|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 → …|