Linguistics Talk by Prof. Akiko Imamura (Swarthmore College)

Thursday, October 25, 2018
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM (ET)
CHS CHS 104 Chase Auditorium
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Suzuki, Kimiko
East Asian Languages and Cultures Faculty

Complimenting is a social action that is an important building block to establishing interpersonal relationships. However, in what kind of timing exactly do we compliment others in everyday conversation? What kind of responses do you use when you receive a compliment? Employing the sociological framework of Conversation Analysis (CA), this lecture shows that the answers to these questions are not as random as we may think they would be. In my data, three different interactional contexts where compliments recur are identified in Japanese conversation among friends and acquaintances. The analysis illuminates that different forms of compliments tend to be used depending on how the interaction unfolds before each compliment is produced. Moreover, compliments are treated distinctively by their recipient depending on the interactional contexts in which they occur. The findings reveal participants’ social norms as to how they produce and treat Japanese compliments within real everyday conversation. Such knowledge is considered as an aspect of interactional competence that Japanese learners may need to learn for participating in face-to-face interactions with people in closer relationships. This presentation will offer a window onto research methodology in interactional linguistics, as well as a new perspective on social interactions in the Japanese language.



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