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Contrastive Study into Up-Shifts in Non-Polite Conversation in Japanese and Korean

  • Journal of Japanese Culture
  • 2017, (72), pp.87-112
  • DOI : 10.21481/jbunka..72.201702.87
  • Publisher : The Japanese Culture Association Of Korea (Jcak)
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : December 25, 2016
  • Accepted : January 22, 2017
  • Published : February 28, 2017

Kim, Ah-Ran 1

1上智大学言語教育研究センター

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines when up-shifts to polite speech appear during non-polite conversations shown in Japanese and Korean film scenes and natural conversations. The results reveal that up-shifts occur when the speaker tries to express the fact that he/she considers the utterance scene with a formal attitude and to establish psychological distance from the addressee. Although up-shifts in Japanese are presumed to increase the psychological distance between the speaker and the addressee, this study presents evidence that up-shifts can occur to create and reduce psychological distance. Japanese and Korean share common ground regarding up-shifts in FTA situations, and they function as compensation for or intensification of FTA. Korean has multiple forms of polite and non-polite speech, which complicates how up-shifts manifest themselves; however, even in Japanese, treatment and politeness of utterances are adjusted using ‘desu’ and ‘su’. Furthermore, there were several differences. In Japanese, up-shifts occur during both agreements and disagreements with the addressee’s opinions; however, up-shifts did not occur in reciprocal situations in Korean. Since Korean emphasizes the importance of age-based hierarchical relationships and this aspect is reflected in the language usage, it is suggested that up-shifts when speaking with those who are younger than the speaker might appear differently than in Japanese.

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