The Mysterious Address Term anata 'you' in Japanese

Yoko Yonezawa | Victoria University of Wellington
ISBN 9789027210500 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027258922 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
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The use of the second person singular pronoun anata ‘you’ in modern Japanese has long been regarded as mysterious and problematic, generating contradictory nuances such as polite, impolite, intimate, and distancing. Treated as a troublesome pronoun, scholars have searched for a semantically loaded meaning in anata, under the assumption that all Japanese personal reference terms involve social indexicality. This book takes a new approach, revealing that anata is in fact semantically simple and its powerful expressivity is explained only in pragmatic terms. In doing so, the study brings to bear a thorough understanding of key issues in pragmatics, such as common ground, sociocultural norms, and shared understandings, in order to fully grasp the meaning and usage of this single linguistic item. This book will be of interest to scholars and students in a range of linguistic fields, such as semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, anthropological linguistics, linguistic typology, cultural linguistics, as well as applied linguistics.
[Topics in Address Research, 4] 2021.  xv, 208 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“I highly recommend this book to Japanese language students, professors, and scholars interested in pragmatics, sociolinguistics, media language, and language ideology.”
“[T]his study makes an immense contribution to Japanese linguistics. This book offers a systematic solution to this problematic address term by revealing how the meaning of anata dynamically changes by the interlocutors’ intent to accept or reject social norms and relationships.”
Cited by

Cited by 1 other publications

Yonezawa, Yoko
2023. Wakimae. In Handbook of Pragmatics [Handbook of Pragmatics, ],  pp. 127 ff. DOI logo

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Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009030: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2021032577 | Marc record