Japanese-Language Education around the Globe - Vol.7 Summaries

Contributed Theses

Teaching Japanese through Parody

AOYAMA Tomoko (Lecturer, Department of Asian Languages and Studies,
The University of Queensland, Australia

The aim of this article is to explore various possibilities of using parody for Japanese-language teaching.
Parody requires: 1) a prior text, 2) imitation, and 3) transformation. While 2) is often associated with respect for 1), 3) is closely connected with the subversive and carnivalesque nature of parody. Parody pre-serves its object at the same time as it revolts against it. This structural and attitudinal ambivalence can also be explained etymologically: "para" means both "counter/against" and "beside/near."
Given this double-sidedness, parody can be used as an effective tool in second-language teaching, reducing fear and encouraging active participation of the learner. Use of parody in language classes can also contribute to alleviating the general tendency away from literature and the stereotype preconceptions regarding Japan. Yet this is by no means an attempt to revive the traditional reading/translation of literary texts in language class. Texts should be selected not on the basis of their canonicity or "Japaneseness," but for their regenerative and critical merit. Genres other than fiction should also be taken into consideration.
Two examples of using parodic texts for a late intermediate (or early advanced) Japanese course are presented. First, Tsutsui Yasutaka's "Karada Kinenbi," which parodies Tawara Machi's Salad Anniversary. In a relatively short period of time, students with no prior knowledge acquire a basic understanding of tanka, literary/poetic style, and parody to the extent that they can appreciate Tsutsui's text and create their own parodies of Salad Anniversary.
The second example involves a short excerpt from Inoue Hisashi's Kirikirijin. Celebrated texts by Soseki, Kawabata, and others are "translated" into the Kirikiri language. These "translations" accompanied by the protagonist's comments provide the students with an entertaining and dialogic introduction to the modern Japanese literary canon.

Japanese Language Learning Resources for Overseas Learners and Teachers

Chihiro Kinoshita Thomson (Director of Language Studies and Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

What are learning resources in the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language? In the past, learners of Japanese tended to depend on such limited resources as Japanese text-books and dictionaries, which are traditionally called "teaching materials." While teaching materials are for teaching, this paper focuses on learning resources, which the learners use for learning and which the teachers use to assist the learners to learn. Use of learning resources is supported by the recent research in socio-linguistics, second language acquisition, and education.
This paper examines overseas learning resources in terms of human resources, physical resources, community resources, and information service resources. It then discusses how to relate these resources to a Japanese-language program. It suggests that a language program should incorporate such learning resources into activities within a course syllabus, as well as into activities outside the course syllabus. Such examples as guest speakers, visitor sessions, Japanese-language newsletters, and projects are provided. Resource incorporation into a language program, both within and outside the course syllabus, is encouraged in order to promote learner autonomy and mutual interaction among the resources and the learners. To do this, teachers will need to re-assess their role in a language program.

A Survey on the Relationship between Strategy Use and Reading Comprehension: The Case of Reading Japanese as a Foreign Language

MINAMINOSONO Hiromi (Lecturer, Chair of Oriental and Baltic Studies, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland)

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between strategy use and reading comprehension ability of Japanese as a foreign language. With this objective, three hypotheses were established as follows: 1) Readers with high reading comprehension ability use more top-down strategies than readers with low reading comprehension ability. 2) Readers with high reading comprehension ability use less bottom-up strategies than readers with low reading comprehension ability. 3) Readers with high reading comprehension ability use more test-taking strategies than readers with low reading comprehension ability.
The subjects were 73 high-intermediate or advanced level of Japanese learners. A reading comprehension test consisted of about 1,000 characters with 20 multiple-choice questions: and a questionnaire on reading strategy use were administered. The questionnaire consisted of 26 reading strategies which were categorized into top-down strategies, bottom-up strategies, and test-taking strategies. It asked subjects to judge on a scale of four their degree of usage of strategies during the reading comprehension test.
The results showed that there was a statistically significant relationship between bottom-up strategy use and reading comprehension. Therefore, only hypothesis 2 was supported. The results seem to indicate that the bottom-up processing of readers with high reading comprehension ability may be automatic and be used unconsciously. However, the correlation coefficient means only "low" significant relationship exists, so further research is necessary with larger subject groups in the future.
It will be necessary to investigate the applicability of think-aloud protocol to Japanese language learners that has been a major method in second language reading research, and to examine reading strategy use in more detail. Also, more research that clarifies the efficacy of reading strategy training will be needed for development of a systematic reading pedagogy.

Discourse Management in Telephone Conversations: A Comparative Analysis of Interactions of Native and Non-Native Speakers of Japanese

OKAMOTO Noriko (Lecturer, Tokyo International University, Japan)
YOSHINO Aya (I.ecturer, Chiba University, Japan)

In this study we analyze the opening and closing sections of telephone conversations in Japanese between pairs of native speakers, and between native and non-native speakers. Among the characteristics of conversation management in native speakers, we identify the use of a, which serves in the opening as a discourse marker conveying the meta-message that the answerer has recognized the caller, and of ja, which indicates the speaker's intention to end the conversation, serving as a discourse marker that leads orderly into the closing section of the conversation.
Further, in the opening, where a sign of recognition is called for, and at the transition to the closing, where a sign of acceptance of the intention to end the conversation is expected, the word hai by itself may function merely as a back channel, without implying acceptance of the other party's meta-message.
In the telephone conversations involving non-native speakers of Japanese, instances may be seen in which they have not fully comprehended the functions of a, hai, and ja, or have not been able to use them appropriately. When examined at the local level for completion of adjacency pairs, the conversation may seem to be progressing smoothly, yet there may still be problems with the understanding and employment of meta-messages at the global level. We may see this as an inability to adjust rules for conversation management in local level exchanges to the position of these exchanges in the overall structure.

The Maintenance of Information Transmission Action in Japanese Conversation

LEE Li-Yen (Graduate School, Nagoya University, Japan)

The purpose of this paper is to identify the strategies used by native speakers of Japanese when they want to maintain the action of information transmission. Four types of strategies have been identified in casual conversations between Japanese native speakers.
They are:
l) Indicating the connection of content (strategy 1);
2) Requesting the attention from listeners (strategy 2);
3) Gaining time while thinking (strategy 3);
4) Ignoring the other speaker's utterance (strategy 4).
These four types of strategies are effective when the speaker wants to maintain the action of information transmission. The results of this study should be useful for teaching Japanese as a foreign language.

"Correction" Strategies in Spoken Japanese Interaction by Japanese and French Learners

IZAKI Yasuko (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris, France)

Native-non-native spoken interaction is regarded as different from native-native inter-action; participants carry out adjustments or correct each other in order to resolve communication troubles or ambiguity occuring in interactive language use as to avoid misunderstanding. This adjustment may be crucial to language acquisition. However, in order to investigate what happens when participants correct their own and each other's language, we have to go beyond a mere focus on identifiable linguistic errors. So the aim of this paper consists in analyzing the mechanism of "correction," considered as one kind of communication strategy.
French learners interviewed Japanese guests in a classroom. And during a feed-back session all participants were asked if they had acknowledged their discourse as breaking communication rules, if they had corrected each other, and how they had interacted. Afterwards, their speeches were transcribed and classified into three categories; linguistic, communicative, and socio-cultural. Then linguistic problems were divided in four levels; pronounciation, lexical, syntactic, and utterance.
The interview and feedback data showed two types of corrections: self-correction and correction by others. And correction occured in three sequences: planning, execution, and interpretation. The results indicate that native-non-native interaction was cooperative, with the aim of achieving their communication goal: hearer-speaker coordination; helping communication between hearer and speaker. Correcting can be regarded as a regulation system with constant feedback and monitoring by all participants. Some correcting is done internally while some part of it is done interactionally.

Forms of Refusal: A Comparison of Refusal Forms Used by Learners of Japanese and Japanese Native Speakers

LAOHABURANAKIT Kanokwan (Graduate School, University of Tsukuba, Japan)

Since the act of refusal must be accomplished against the wishes of the other person, and further, language learners must express themselves in their second language, refusal often lead to misunderstanding and failure in communication.
This study uses data from actual telephone conversations to compare the forms of refusal used by learners of Japanese with those of Japanese native speakers. The goal of this study is to examine the problems learners have expressing refusal which cannot be easily observed in data obtained by means of questionnaires or role-plays.
It was found that learners of Japanese can use comparatively well forms which follow the proposition of "reason" (e.g., reason+node). However, they had difficulty using forms which express the speaker's consideration to other---that is, sentence-final particles, forms which appear before and after the proposition of "impossibility" (e.g., yappari muri kana), and "negative markers" (e.g., uun, ahaa), which signal refusal.
Research and textbooks to date have not focused on the forms listed above, but these forms merit greater attention.

Intonation and Acquisition of Japanese Accent: Factors to Characterize the Interlanguage Intonative Pattern by French Native Speakers

SHIROTA Chieko (Department of Japanese Studies, (Linguistics), The Faculty of Letters, Osaka University, Japan)

The purpose of the study is to propose the effective method with which to teach Japanese intonation and accent. As a fundamental research for this purpose, I intend to report on the results of experimentation which was designed to test acquisitional influences by input and first language (L1) transfer in the process of learning Japanese accent and intonation by French learners of Japanese as a second language (JSL). The subjects are both French and Japanese (Tokyo, Kyoto-Osaka) native speakers.
The results indicates that:

  1. 1.French speakers apply the French prosodic rules to Japanese utterances. Consequently, French speakers can realize the intonative patterns for Japanese utterances which bear a close parallel to French intonative patterns. The accentual pattern of a Japanese phrase (bun-setsu) by French speakers changes whether it is focused or not.
  2. 2.The differences of the prosodic structures between Japanese and French are crucial factors in characterizing the surface intonative patterns of Japanese utterances by French speakers; while Japanese prosodic structure forms a hierarchy centering around the accent, the French prosodic structure forms a hierarchy centering around the intonation.
  3. 3.The L1 transfer of prosodic rules prevents French speakers from acquiring a Japanese accent. However, it is possible for them to acquire (1) the intonation of Japanese utterance, (2) the intonative pattern of Japanese accentual phrase, and (3)the Japanese accent.

The Influence of Familiarity with Non-native Speech on Native Speakers' Negotiation of Meaning

MURAKAMI Kaori (Nanzan University, Japan)

The present study is an attempt to see how native speakers' familiarity with non-native speech influences their discourse strategies when interacting with NNSs. Specifically, the amount that each NS performed certain moves while being engaged in a two-way information gap task with an NNS was analyzed. The NS subjects were twelve Japanese women who were categorized into four groups of three according to their amount of exposure to NNS speech (a naive group, two teachers groups of varying experience, and office staff with regular work dealing with NNSs). They all interacted with the same NNS subject, a female English native speaker. The measures of "negotiation of meaning" analyzed were error corrections, contributors/completions, elaborations, confirmation checks, and clarification requests. The twelve one-to-one interactions were coded in terms of these strategies and then a chi-square test and residual analysis computed.
The result shows that the office staff with daily bureaucratic exposure to non-native speech had the highest level of "negotiation of meaning." This is probably due to their practical goal-oriented (meaningful) communication with NNSs which requires them to negotiate regularly.
While teachers of Japanese need to have "meaningful communication" when dealing with NNSs, the data shows that some have very little. It might be that these teachers' extensive experience (familiarity) with non-native speech gives them a high level of "comprehension competence" which may keep them from making negotiation moves (since they can guess the meaning) or may lead them into "stereotyping" NNS attempts (merely assuming they understand when perhaps they do not). In either case, it reduces the opportunities for the "negotiation of meaning," and this needs to be taken into consideration in teacher training if, indeed, the claim that negotiation facilitates second language acquisition is true.
The characteristics of each measure analyzed is discussed as well.

Cue-Based Analysis on Acquisition of Wa and Ga by L2 Japanese Learners

TOMITA Hideo (Associate Professor of Japanese, Modern Languages and Literatures, Kenyon College, Ohio, USA)

The present study investigated the acquisition of Japanese wa and ga with learners of Japanese as a second language. Based on the hypothesis of "cu-based learning" in the Competition Model (MacWhinney, 1987; Bates and MacWhinney, 1989), linguistic environments for wa and ga were classified under the two types of cues, local cues and global cues, and an experiment was conducted. Several findings will be reported, including the following: (1) learners demonstrated low error rate when those particles were under the local environment; (2) learners tended to show lower error rate with wa than with ga, but this is true only when wa was under the local environment; and finally (3) learners constantly demonstrated high error rate, regardless of the proficiency level, when those particles were under the global environment.
The Competition Model defines language acquisition as problem of mapping function and form. One of the central hypotheses of this model is cue-based learning, which assumes that various but limited linguistic cues guide learners to map function and form, and that learning of those cues helps develop acquisition of language. The major assumption in our study originates in Kail (1989), which states that local cues require less amount of storage and cross-referencing for interpretation to occur than do topological cues (=global cues in our study), and the linguistic facts guided by local cues will be acquired early. The experiment supported this assumption. The current study will present the classification of linguistic environments for wa and ga by cue types, and argue, based on the findings, that the classification is most likely to contribute to a systematic study as well as teaching of wa and ga.

Characteristics of Chinese Sentences Corresponding to Japanese with -te (kure, kudasai): Excluding Chinese Sentences Dealing with "Qing"

LI Ping (Student of Doctor Course, in Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University, Japan)

Japanese sentences with te (kure, kudasai) are a Request Sentence, used sometimes for making a request, also often used for a command. In normal usage, due to the severe nature of the implied feeling, Japanese usage does not use an Imperative Sentence but simply uses a Request Sentence.
The Chinese sentences corresponding to the Japanese with te (kure, kudasai) are Imperative Sentences. In the normal case the Chinese Imperative Sentence is used to make a command, additionally it's used for making a request between friends or family. This appears to contradict the Japanese usage where the Imperative Sentence is not used to make a request in a personal relationship under normal usage. The Japanese do use the Request Sentence to make a command. This is due to the polite nature of the Japanese culture.

On the Identical Function of Bangla and Japanese Substantive Verbs as an Aspectual Marker

A.B.M. Razaul Karim Faquire (Assistant Professor of Japanese, Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

The aim of this study is to compare the morphosyntactic structure of the substantive verbs of Bangla and Japanese and their functions as aspectual marker. The BSV aach and the JSV iru will be the topic of the present study. Despite belonging to different language families, both BSV aach and JSV iru show a similar morphosyntactic feature. These verbs are posited in the predicate as principal verbs to form existential sentences. They are both defective verbs because they do not function in a regular paradigm of aspect and tense as a full verb does. In addition to the function as principal verb, both BSV aach and JSV aru/iru serve similar functions as an aspectual marker. As an aspectual marker, they are infixed between the base of the verb and the tense marker. The SV aach and aru/iru reflect the various aspects suffixed to different forms of verbs, such as the stem form and gerundive form of verbs. Aspects represent semantic notions, but SV is the structural (morphosyntactic) representation of aspects. The morphosyntactic represention of the aspects are called auxiliary verbs in traditional grammar in the sense that they ascribe additional meanings to the main verb.

Hesitations (Discourse Markers) in Japanese

NAGURA Toshie (Assistant Professor, Asahikawa University, Women's Junior College, Japan)

The issue of hesitation phenomena in Japanese is pointed out as being complicated because of the variations in accordance with age, sex, and other sociolinguistic factors. We are all familiar with expressions such as anoo, yappari, or soo desu ne. Yet, other than these typical ones, what constitutes hesitations (=discourse markers) in general? How do social factors (variables) affect the people's use of discourse markers? This paper attempts to clarify these questions.
First, the state of affairs regarding the treatment of hesitation phenomena is roughly outlined. Second, certain characteristics of Japanese discourse markers are pointed out. Then, the data taken from interviews with kindergartners are analyzed on the assumption that the use of markers is related to over-all language acquisition. Third, discussion is made in accordance with variables (mentioned above), based on the data taken from formal and informal spoken discourses. Finally, an attempt is made to elucidate the inner nature of the Japanese way of communication.

Description of the Meaning of the Intermediate Compound Verb Kiru in Its Various Uses: The Relationship between Kiru as a Proper Verb, a Verbal Prefix, and an Auxiliary Verb

LEE Kyung Soo (Hanyang University, Korea)

This paper seeks to explore the relationship between kiru as a proper verb, a verbal prefix, and an auxiliary verb and to examine its meaning in these various uses. To analyze the meaning of the auxiliary compound verb, the form -kiru as an auxiliary verb was removed from specific sentences to determine if this exclusion resulted in a non-sentence. It seems that in sentences which were rendered meaningless by the removal of -kiru, -kiru was acting like a vocabulary compound verb, functioning as an item of vocabulary. In sentences that were not rendered invalid by this removal, -kiru seemed to be acting as syntactic compound verb. Therefore, since the auxiliary verb-kiru can function as both a vocabulary compound verb and a syntactic compound verb it is clearly an intermediate compound verb. In addition, the proper verb kiru and the verbal prefix kiru- show a relationship in that they both convey a sense of "severance," "utterance," "dealing with," or "discontinuation." The proper verb kiru is also related to the auxiliary compound verb -kiru in that both have nuances of "severance," "completion," "extremity," and "self-confidence." Through this analysis it can be seen that the verbal prefix kiru- and the auxiliary verb -kiru are not derived from some abstract meaning totally different from that of the proper verb kiru. Rather it is clear that, although there are differences in degree, kiru- and -kiru are closely related to the proper verb kiru in terms of meaning.

A Class of Modality in the Japanese Adverbs "Kitto" and "Kanarazu": Similarity with "Tabun" and "Taitei"

SUGIMURA Yasushi (Foreign Expert, The Japanese Department, Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute)

This paper is an investigation of the Japanese adverbs "kitto" and "kanarazu" from the viewpoint of modality. In preceding studies, kitto and kanarazu were categorized in "statement adverbs" or "adverbs of the speaker's subjective attitude." And although a distinction of "possibility" or "functions of conjecture/habit" had been the subject of controversy, little is known about the distinction of these two words.
This paper has worked from a slightly different angle. The point I wish to make is that the two words belong to different modality classes; kitto has to do with speaker's judgment and kanarazu has to do with a proposition. It is my assertion that the differences in the meanings of kitto and kanarazu is a result of the modality class to which each word belongs. Furthermore, point out that such phenomena are observed not only in "kitto" and "kanarazu " but in "tabun" and "taitei".

The Formation of the Japanese Cleft Sentence and the Unagi Sentence

CHEN Fangze (College of Oriental Languages and Culture, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China)

Two explanations have been proposed for the formation of the Japanese cleft sentence: "Formation by moving backward" and "Formation by deletion," and both of them are intended for the single-item cleft sentence, which is of the "X-wa Y" construction, rather than double-item cleft sentence, which is a type specific to Japanese of the " X-wa Y-ga Z" construction. So none of them can be eventually considered as the explanation of the formation of the Japanese cleft sentence. This paper focuses attention on the specific feature of the comment of double-item cleft sentence and presents a new explanation called "Formation by moving forward," which can deal with not only the formation of the Japanese cleft sentence under the same operation, but also that of other topic constructions. In this paper, a new proposition of the formation of the unagi sentence, which suggests that the unagi sentence be formed by omitting the first topic from the " X-wa Z-wa Y" construction that can be transformed to double-item cleft sentence, is also made.

Pre-Nominal NP-no Modifiers in Japanese: Syntactic Duality and Order of Occurrence

S. Ray Mori (Professor, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan)

Perhaps no single word in any language is more versatile and, hence, more ambiguous than the Japanese particle no. It connects two nominals (nouns and noun phrases) in a multitude of meaningful relations. For example, the meanings of no as in Tom no shashin include: ownership ('that belongs to'), performer ('taken by'), graphic content ('that has a picture of'), beneficiary ('[taken, developed, purchased, etc.] for the sake of'), and source ('that comes from').
Needless to say, students of Japanese as a foreign language will find the use of no quite challenging, and a thorough knowledge of the particle will indeed be indispensable for their studies.
This paper will conduct a survey of the particle no that appears in the pre-nominal modifier, i.e., no in [[NP-no]+[NP]]. Along with an examination of the "multitude of meaningful relations" expressed by no, two specific findings will be aimed for: (i) the syntactic duality of NP-no modifiers, and (ii) the order of NP-no pre-nominal modifiers occurring in a cluster.
In the first half of the paper, we will observe that BBC-no, ryori-no bangumi ("BBC's cooking programs") is grammatical, but not *ryori-no, BBC-no bangumi, proposing that there are two syntactically distinct classes of NP-no modifiers: adjunct and complement. When an adjunct modifier and a complement modifier appear side by side, the former will always precede the latter.
In the second half of the paper, we will see that while no special order is observed in a sequence of two or more adjunct modifiers appearing side by side, a sequence of complement modifiers is rigidly ordered.

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