Japanese-Language Education around the Globe - Vol.8 Summaries

Contributed Theses

The Relations between Motivations and Examination Scores: The Case of University Students in Thailand

NARITA Takahiro (Graduate School, Nanzan University)

The purpose of this study was to research the relationship between motivational factors and the examination scores of university students in Thailand and to propose a new direction for language teachers living in foreign countries. The survey was conducted among 44 students majoring in the Japanese language at a university in Bangkok. The questionnaire was composed of 30 items, each of which the students answered on a scale from "1" (strongly agree) to "5" (strongly disagree).
The data was analyzed by means of factor analysis and valimax rotation. As a result, we were able to examine six separate categories regarding psychological mindset: (1) Understanding of Japanese Culture, (2) Integrative Orientation, (3) Instrumental Orientation, (4) Pursuit of Advantages, (5) International Awareness, (6) Incentive Orientation.
In the next step, multiple regression analysis was applied where the criterion variable was the mid-term examination scores of the students. As a result, we were able to document the fact that students with Integrative Orientation had higher scores, while those students with low scores were in the categories of Pursuit of Advantages and Incentive Orientation.
As a result of this study, we found that language teachers need to offer opportunities that will change the students' mindset from Pursuit of Advantages and Incentive Orientation into Integrative Orientation. This could be achieved, for instance, through cultural exchange opportunities between students and Japanese living overseas.

Problems of Desiderative Expressions Misused by Advanced Learners of Japanese in Contact Situations

OISHI Kumiko (Assistant Professor, International Center, Keio University)

This paper is a study of the Japanese desiderative expressions -tai desu ka (do you want to -?) and te hoshii desu ka (do you want me to -?), which are often pragmatically misused by foreign learners of the Japanese language in contact situations.
For instance, "mo chumon shitai desu ka" (Would you like to order now?) is impolite and pragmatically not allowed in Japanese if used by a waiter at a restaurant.
In this paper, I shall use natural discourse data of foreign speakers of Japanese to discuss problems which stem from differences in pragmatic usage of desiderative forms between Japanese and the learner's first languages. In order to ascertain the communicative intention of subjects, the technique of the follow-up interview was used with all subjects.
The data of the learners revealed first language transfer concerning the desiderative expressions, irrespective of their declared knowledge that the desiderative expressions should be avoided when speaking to strangers and superiors in Japanese. And the data also shows that the learner misunderstands how to make the Japanese desideratives polite. Furthermore, I claim that even the advanced learners sometimes misuse the desiderative expressions when they forget to control their speech.

The Influence of Introductory Textbooks on Kanji Learning Strategy Use and Beliefs about Kanji Learning

OKITA Yoko (Lecturer, Asian Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A.)

This study compared usage frequencies of seven kanji learning strategies and five beliefs about kanji learning when three different textbooks were used. The textbooks were roman-alphabet-based textbook, Japanese: The Spoken Language (JSL), which was used at the University of Hawaii in 1994; Japanese-script-based textbooks, Situational Functional Japanese (SFJ), which was used at the University of Hawaii in 1995 and 1996; and Yookoso! which was used at the University of Texas in 1996.
Three strategies, association with pictures, watching TV, and reading texts, were used more frequently in JSL than in SFJ and Yookoso!. One strategy, association with kana, was more frequently used in SFJ and Yookoso! than in JSL. The results of this study suggest that the low level of exposure to Japanese scripts in JSL made students seek more exposure to the Japanese scripts from other sources. More importantly, this limited exposure possibly hindered students' abilities to cope with Japanese scripts and consequently acquiring written Japanese proficiency. The influence of the textbooks on beliefs was found only in the speech primacy belief. More students using JSL supported the speech primacy belief than students using other textbooks. For JSL and Yookoso!, more students using JSL and less students using Yookoso! supported the speech primacy belief. For SFJ and Yookoso! more students using SFJ and less students using Yookoso! were undecided about this belief. There was no difference in the speech primacy belief between the drastically different textbooks, JSL and SFJ, which were both used in Hawaii.
These results suggest that the learning environment, rather than textbooks, might more affect the formation of the speech primacy belief. Future studies on kanji learning mechanisms in various areas will lead to the development of the most suitable kanji instructional methods for a particular area.

Compound Shortening

HIBIYA Junko (Associate Professor, International Center, Keio University)

In Japanese, long compounds tend to become shortened. This word formation process is widely observed, particularly in newspaper Japanese. In this paper, the author first collects 365 words which have resulted from this process through four different methods. The examination of these data indicates that in most cases (about 80%), the shortening process follow a constraint and the resulting words consist of four morae (two morae+two morae). More specifically, the shortening takes place by taking first two morae from each word which makes up a compound. The remaining words that do not follow this constraint were analyzed phonologically.

Understanding and Teaching Japanese Discourse Principles: A Case of Newspaper Columns

Senko K. Maynard (Professor of Japanese Language and Linguistics, Rutgers University, U.S.A.)

This paper reports the results of analysis of Japanese mass media discourse, specifically 38 entries of newspaper opinion columns, "Columns, My View," taken from Asahi shimbun (1994). Based on the results, I explore the possibilities of introducing discourse principles into the craft of teaching students how to read Japanese.
By appealing to the concept of "commentary" sentences, I examine how and where in the column the writer presents his or her views. The study reveals that (1) a paraphrase of the headline appears at a point somewhere around 86.73% into the column, (2) sentences in column-initial danraku are 12.24% commentary sentences, whereas sentences in column-final danraku are 51.02% commentary sentences, and (3) the sequencing of non-commentary to commentary sentences is prevalent in danraku (81.51%). Accordingly, I conclude that the newspaper column writer's opinions appear on multiple levels toward the end of the discourse-within danraku as well as within the entire column.
Based on a review of the literature on applied linguistics, I discuss possibilities of applying the discovered rhetorical sequencing as well as other principles of Japanese discourse to the teaching of reading. In addition, a schematic structure for a sample column is presented as an example of a possible pedagogical tool.

Compensatory Lengthening by British Learners of Japanese

NAGAI Katsumi (Department of Applied Linguistics, Edinburgh University, Scotland)

Every phoneme has its own intrinsic segmental duration, which varies in the environment. This experiment examines the effect of voicing second consonants in C1V1. C2V2 test words spoken by Japanese native speakers and British learners of Japanese at two levels. Compensatory effect, which is seen between the voiced consonant and the preceding vowel, occurs beyond CV boundaries. Elementary learners can be distinguished because they have little effect of durational compensation. The result implies a possibility of applying the effect to evaluating the learners' achievement of second language learning.

The Role of Metalinguistic Strategies in Contact Situations: Study of Learners' Strategies for Solving Comprehension Problems

SAIJO Miki (Part-time Lecturer, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Aichi Prefectural University)

Studies of communication srategies have shown that in contact situations when a learner is faced with comprehension problems, he/she might ask a native speaker to clarify the "trouble spot" of utterance (request for clarification: RC), or might avoid such a request (RC avoidance). These studies also have indicated that the intermediate-advanced learner seldom use request for clarification, and RC avoidance is an important strategy to continue the conversation between the learner and the native speaker of Japanese. However, there are few empirical studies of RC avoidance. Especially, how the use of RC avoidance affects the flow of conversation has been neglected. To fill this gap, this study presented the following research questions:

  1. (1)How do intermediate-advanced learners use RC and RC avoidance strategies?
  2. (2)Do Japanese conversation partners accept RC avoidance strategy?

To answer these questions, a katei houmon project was assigned to 9 intermediate-advanced learners. Conversations in the katei houmon and follow-up interviews of both parties were analyzed. Results of these analyses showed that learners largely used RC avoidance, and Japanese partners of conversation regarded this strategy as inadequate communicative act.
Based on these results, this study discusses the role of metalinguistic strategies (strategies for verbal monitoring of speech situation) as solving strategies of comprehension problems in learner/native speaker interaction. Instructions invented by the author on changes from RC avoidance into metalinguistic strategies were given to learners. After instructions, Japanese volunteers were invited to the classroom for a visitor session.
Results of the analysis of this session showed that the total frequency of RC avoidance decreased, and the frequency of metalinguistic strategies increased. Also, Japanese conversation partners accepted the use of metalinguistic strategies, and they highly evaluated learners' discourse management.

Japanese Language Use by Non-Japanese Businesspeople: Current Usage and Companies' Expectations

SHIMADA Megumi and SHIBUKAWA Aki (International Communication Department, Japan External Trade Organization)

This paper analyzes how necessary Japanese language skills are at companies in Japan.
Two types of questionnaires were prepared. One was for Japanese companies and foreign-affiliated firms, and the other was for non-Japanese businesspeople working in Japan. The following points were investigated, based on the replies to the questionnaire. 1) In which areas do non-Japanese businesspeople use Japanese?
What is the difference between their present use of Japanese and their hopes for the future? 2) In which situations do companies expect non-Japanese businesspeople to use Japanese? 3) Is there any difference between the present condition of Japanese use by non-Japanese businesspeople and the expectations of companies?
The results are: 1) Japanese language use depends greatly on the type of company for which one works. For example, almost all of the businesspeople in Japanese companies use Japanese for in-house communication, however, language usage in foreign-affiliated firms differs according to the type of work been carried out. In the case of conversation skills only, was there a difference between present conditions and future hopes. 2) Companies expect non-Japanese businesspeople to use Japanese for in-house communication first and then for communicating with customers. Japanese companies expect more non-Japanese businesspeople to use Japanese than foreign-affiliated firms do. 3) For all skills?\conversation, reading, writing-non-Japanese businesspeople use more Japanese than their companies expected.

A Contrastive Study of Benefactive Constructions in Japanese and Marathi

Prashant Pardeshi (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kobe University)

The goal of this paper is to make a contrastive study of benefactive expressions that are based on the GIVE schema in Japanese and Marathi. The framework used for the analysis is the cognitive analysis of benefactive constructions proposed by Shibatani (1994a,b1996). Benefactives, according to Shibatani, are based on the GIVE schema. A schema, on the one hand, functions as a window for construing the outside world and, on the other hand, provides a structural template for the concerned expression. The ungrammaticality of an expression is explained in terms of the mismatch between the schema and the concerned situation described. The schema-based approach transcends structural differences between languages of the world and offers a unified account for the construction in question. It is demonstrated with ample illustrations that Japanese and Marathi exhibit variation according to the type of the main verb on which the benefactive expression is based.

Believing, Wanting, and Feeling: Three Representational Modes of Embedded Propositional Contents

YOKOMIZO Shinichiro (Lecturer, Center for Japanese Studies, Nanzan University)

The modal marker -to omou is preceded by various types of embedded propositions, such as a speaker's belief, desire, intention, etc. Although Japanese sentences have been categorized by many scholars (e.g., Miyaji 1971; Teramura 1984; Moriyama 1988; Masuoka 1991; Nitta 1991a,b), these categorizations attempt to classify the whole sentences, and therefore are not applicable to embedded propositions preceding -to omou. Also, although Moriyama's (1992) pioneering study attempts to categorize the propositions into two groups of "subjective" and "objective," its categorization is heavily dependent on contexts, and accordingly it must be taken case-by-case. Here, it is necessary to create a systematic categorization specifically effective for embedded propositions. In this study, according to Searle's (1983) "direction of fit," embedded propositions are classified into three types of representational modes: Believing, Wanting, and Feeling. Believing refers to the mode of true-of-false, Wanting to fulfillment, and Feeling to neither true-or-false nor fulfillment.
By attaching omou, the degree of the speaker's "commitment" to the propositional contents of Believing and his "involvement" to that of Wanting and Feeling decreases. The speaker's "involvement" in Feeling refers to how deeply he is engaged in a state of current feeling, whereas in Wanting to how determined he is in fulfilling his desire, intention, etc.
Furthermore, Japanese verbs of mental activity are classified by utilizing the framework of representational modes, and kangaeru and kanjiru are grouped together with omou. It was discovered that the attachment of both kangaeru and kanjiru creates an implication different from the one of omou because of their cognition/affect orientation. This study will improve our understanding of how a human being's mind is related to language when expressing his thought.

The Agent-Marking System in Passive Sentences: The Case of Non-Typical Agents

ZHANG Lin Sheng (Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University)

In the study of agent marking in the passive, we have basically paid attention to typical agents, The do-er that does things voluntarily, seen in a sentence like "Hanako-wa joushi-ni shikarareta." In this article, however, I will discuss non-typical agents that cannot do things of their own will, such as "Hata-ga kaze-ni aorareteiru," and how it is marked in the passive.
My analysis is as follows:

  -ni -de -niyotte -notameni
1 Causal (1) Change of state 1 Instrument o o x o
2 Measures o o o x
3 Nature o o o o
4 Things x o o o
(2) Change of feeling
2 Natural phenomena in progress o x x x
3 Position o o x x

Speaker's Recognition of an Event and Intervention of "Koto" and "Mono"

ADACHI Taro (Lecturer, Faculty of Intercultural Communication, Hiroshima Women's University)

The abstract nouns "koto" and "mono" may appear immediately before an epistemic modal predicate or some type of verb of thought. We call this syntactic phenomenon "intervention," and an analysis that the nouns reflect the speaker's recognition of an event will be presented.
On the one hand, "mono" is intervened when a evidential modal predicate or a verb of thought with evidential meaning is used. On the other hand, "koto" is intervened when "daroo," which denotes the speaker's imagination, "omou" verb of thought, or a wh-question is used.
Given the above observations, it is claimed that "mono" denotes an event which is recognized by the speaker as an inference based on evidence, and "koto" denotes an event that the speaker is unable to decide its truthfullness.

Testing for Theme in Japanese

Elizabeth Anne Thomson (Lecturer, ModernLanguagesProgram, FacultyofArts, WollongongUniversity, Australia)

Michael Halliday (1994: 37) has described the particle wa as the Theme particle in Japanese. This claim has been quite readily accepted as truth among systemic functional linguists-at least, no one has directly challenged this claim. However, before investigating the validity of this claim, it is first necessary to test for the existence of Theme in Japanese as the existence of the functional category of Theme has also been assumed.
This paper will 1) discuss the systemic functional and non-systemic functional realizations of Theme found in the literature; 2) define Theme from a systemic functional point of view, arguing that the category of Theme does indeed exist in Japanese; and 3) report the results of a pilot test designed to prove that the systemic functional category of Theme does operate in Japanese.

The Functions of Quotation Marker "to" in Spoken Language

KATO Yoko (Assistant Professor, Graduate School of International Relations,
International University of Japan

The quotation marker "to" is used to quote the contents of thoughts (e.g., to omou) and comments (e.g., to iu) and to make modified clauses (e.g., Igirisu e ikitai to iu koto) in Japanese.
This study focuses on the functions of "to" that appear in spoken language, i.e., speech (to a listener), dialogues, and monologues. This study aims to:

  1. (1)point out sentence patterns in relation to "to" and indicators that are useful for finding these patterns; and
  2. (2)classify the quotation marker "to" into several groups in terms of its functions.

This study points out the following four patterns that are unique in spoken language, especially in speech. They are: (1) the pattern that has a pause between "to" and the part that follows it, (2) a pattern that the following part of "to" is omitted, (3) a pattern in which some quoted parts are juxtaposed, and (4) a pattern that can be treated as a complete sentence. This study also points out that to pay attention to the modal auxiliaries that precede "to" and conjunctions that follow "to" would be helpful for finding these patterns.
In this study, "to" is classified into four groups in terms of its functions: (1) unmarked quotation marker, (2) narrative marker, (3) logical conjecture marker, and (4) metalinguistic quotation marker, respectively.
This study concludes that the above four functions are derived from the core function of "to," expressing "dual places." In other words, the characteristics of the second "place" determine the function of "to" in spoken language.

Elliptical Utterance in Japanese Conversation

KAI Masumi (Assistant Professor, International Student Center, Okayama University)

The aim of this paper is to analyze the phenomena of topic and noun ellipses in Japanese conversation. I shall adopt the concept "information base" to refer to conceptual spaces which are construed between speaker and hearer as shared knowledge.
Information base is the unit of information, and it contains information elements which are activated by the speaker, and it builds up on-line as the discourse unfolds.
When an element in an utterance is foregrounded under a certain topic and next utterances concerning this foregrounded element follow, a series of utterances are coherent by various links. The more links there are, the more coherent the utterances there are.
An element in a discourse which is foregrounded after being input in the information base is accessible to the speaker and hearer, and it becomes possible to eliminate. However, when the topic is changed in the discourse flow, the element is impossible to eliminate even if it has appeared in the former utterances and has been input in the information base.

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