LINGUIST List 3.765

Fri 09 Oct 1992

Disc: Sexism, Japanese Pronouns

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. , Re: 3.752 Sexism in Language
  2. Leland Emerson McCleary, PC and humor
  3. John S. Coleman, 3.755 Japanese Pronouns
  4. , Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns
  5. Hiromi Morikawa, Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns
  6. Melody Sutton, Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

Message 1: Re: 3.752 Sexism in Language

Date: 07 Oct 1992 10:04:21 -0600Re: 3.752 Sexism in Language
From: <REBWHLRCC.USU.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.752 Sexism in Language


It is _not_ the case that I posted my initial query regarding the
meaning of 'dog' under the reading 'unattractive X' in order to pressure
the car dealer into taking the sign down (Swann Philip 10/5). Nope.

I posted that query as an information gathering tool. The dealer had
asserted in print (letter to the editor, Salt Lake Tribune) that men
and women use 'dog' in the same way and that it could easily mean either
 -- or be used either -- of a male or female. That seemed linguistically
naive and actually, incorrect to me so I posted my query to LINGUIST
in order to find out what actually was the case regarding the meaning
and use of 'dog'.

It isrue that I intended to communicate my findings to the dealership.
But that falls more under the rubric of education than coercian, I hope.

Rebecca S. Wheeler
Logan, Utah

rebwhlrcc.usu.edu
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Message 2: PC and humor

Date: Thu, 8 Oct 92 14:18:05 -04PC and humor
From: Leland Emerson McCleary <mcclearycat.cce.usp.br>
Subject: PC and humor


I (perhaps because I've been out of the US for so long) hold with
those who feel that the sexism in the dog billboard cuts both ways,
and that the greater offense is that of, as Johanna Rubba says,
"perpetuating the unrealistic ideals of physical attractiveness
and overall perfection that are constantly foisted by the advertising
media on the public, and which contribute to the low self-esteem of
millions of normal-looking girls and boys in our society".

But attractiveness and perfection are not valued for nothing, and
surely their rarity helps to make them enviable. If we can find
humor in the billboard (I do), it is not because we are the attractive
and perfect amused by the poor plight of the dogs and their dates.
It is a way that we, the normal-looking, have of coping with an
unjust world in which most of us end up marrying (and loving)
perfectly ordinary people and driving perfectly ordinary cars.

Laughter, we're told, is healthy, especially if we can laugh at
ourselves. I live in a country where advertising is tremendously
outrageous and creative and provides me with a banquet of belly
laughs. I'm sure that helps me and millions of others get along
and get along together in a country in which having hope for the
future is a pure act of faith.

So I wonder: is there humor after PC?

--Leland McCleary
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, Brazil
mcclearycat.cce.usp.br
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Message 3: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

Date: Wed, 7 Oct 92 13:32:03 EDT3.755 Japanese Pronouns
From: John S. Coleman <jscmbeya.research.att.com>
Subject: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

Anyone interested in this topic should consult "Ellipsis in
Japanese" by John Hinds. This work is based on an extensive
collection of spontaneous Japanese conversations, and is
very much better empirically supported than any other study
of this topic that I have come across.

--- John Coleman
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Message 4: Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

Date: Wed, 7 Oct 92 10:41:23 -07Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns
From: <zzhangsciences.sdsu.edu>
Subject: Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

It is not just Japanese that avoids the use of 2nd person pronoun when
inferiors talk to superiors. The same thing occurs in Chinese, with xian1
sheng in place of sensei, of course. Zheng-sheng Zhang San Diego State
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Message 5: Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

Date: Wed, 7 Oct 92 14:24:54 PDTRe: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns
From: Hiromi Morikawa <hiromiwaldron.stanford.edu>
Subject: Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

 I've already responded directly to the person who posted the
original question. But I'd like to repeat it here since no one yet
talked about it as a topic of "chlid-directed speech". This may be
something more specific than "empathy" that's general to all age levels
of Japanese speakers.
 One of the characteristics of the Japanese society is that the role
of adults and children are considered separate. To communicate with a
child, most adults tend to go down to the child's level, and one way to
do it is to take the child's perspective about the social and blood
relations. Therefore, the adults use first person pronouns in place of a
second person pronouns.
 In addition, adults avoid using first-person pronouns to refer to
themselves in speaking to a child. Instead, they use kin terms (Mommy,
Daddy, and "aunty" for aunts and unrelated female adults, etc.) and
other relational labels (e.g., "teacher") depending on how they are
related to the particular child.
 Such use of pronouns are clearly different from how pronouns are
used in child-directed English. And it appears to affect how Japanese
children acquire pronouns. But that's another story.

Hiromi Morikawa
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Message 6: Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

Date: Wed, 07 Oct 92 17:36 PDT
From: Melody Sutton <IZZYHA2MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.755 Japanese Pronouns

Another tidbit to add to the discussion of Japanese "pronouns":

I have heard Japanese speakers consistently use their own name instead of
watashi ("I") when referring to themselves.

Melody Sutton
UCLA
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