Utterance Final Position and Projection of Femininity in Japanese

Authors

  • Mie Hiramoto University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.v4i1.99

Keywords:

Japanese women’s language, Language ideology, Sociophonetics, Prosody

Abstract

Japanese female speakers’ frequent use of suprasegmental features such as higher pitch, longer duration, rising intonation and wider pitch ranges compared to male speakers, are often recognized as key prosodic cues of Japanese women’s language (JWL). Although many existing studies on JWL focus on the use of gender-related pragmatic features such as sentence fi nal particles (SFP), most of these do not take detailed prosodic information into account in their analysis. This study suggests that speakers can manipulate utterance-final prosody, to project femininity and that it is an especially effective technique given the salience of the utterance-fi nal position when marking pragmatic information in Japanese. Th e data indicates that this position is a focal point of JWL prosody regardless of the gender neutrality of SFPs, or even the absence of SFPs altogether.

Author Biography

Mie Hiramoto, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Assistant Professor of Linguistics

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Published

2010-11-16

How to Cite

Hiramoto, M. (2010). Utterance Final Position and Projection of Femininity in Japanese. Gender and Language, 4(1), 99–124. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.v4i1.99

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