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Students, sarariiman (pl.), and seniors: Japanese men's use of ′manly′ speech register

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 February 2004

Department of Anthropology, California State University, Sacramento, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6106,


This article analyzes seven Japanese all-male friendly conversations, focusing on stereotypically gendered sentence-final particles to ascertain whether and how Japanese men native to the Kansai (western) region of Japan, aged 19–68 years, use these features to create a gendered identity. Quantitative methods are employed to establish the frequency with which such stereotypically gendered forms are used. A close discourse analysis investigates how the men use these forms in particular contexts to index particular identities, which may or may not correspond to traditional notions of Japanese masculinity.Earlier versions of this article were presented to the Department of Anthropology at the University of Iowa and to the Stanford Sociolinguistics Research Group at Stanford University. I thank the members of those audiences for their vital feedback. I am indebted to Janet S. (Shibamoto) Smith, Michael Silverstein, Miyako Inoue, Shigeko Okamoto, Laura Graham, Scott Fabius Kiesling, Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, Hari Kanta Ogren, Jane Hill, and an anonymous reviewer for carefully reading and commenting on drafts. Without the support of the Kobe College Corporation and the National Science Foundation (Grant # BCS9817943) this article and its larger project would not have been possible.

Research Article
© 2004 Cambridge University Press

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