Linguistic Creativity in Japanese Discourse

Exploring the multiplicity of self, perspective, and voice

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Using theoretical concepts of self, perspective, and voice as an interpretive guide, and based on the Place of Negotiation theory, this volume explores the phenomenon of linguistic creativity in Japanese discourse, i.e., the use of language in specific ways for foregrounding personalized expressive meanings. Personalized expressive meanings include psychological, emotive, interpersonal, and rhetorical aspects of communication, encompassing broad meanings such as feelings of intimacy or distance, emotion, empathy, humor, playfulness, persona, sense of self, identity, rhetorical effects, and so on. Nine analysis chapters explore the meanings, functions, and effects observable in the indices of linguistic creativity, focusing on discourse creativity (style mixture, borrowing others’ styles, genre mixture), rhetorical creativity (puns, metaphors, metaphors in multimodal discourse), and grammatical creativity (negatives, demonstratives, first-person references). Based on the analysis of verbal and visual data drawn from multiple genres of contemporary cultural discourse, this work reveals that by creatively expressing in language we share our worlds from multiple perspectives, we speak in self’s and others’ many voices, and we endlessly create personalized expressive meanings as testimony to our own sense of being.

Subjects: Discourse studies; Pragmatics; Japanese linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Rutgers University

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