This innovative study of Japanese business discourse adopts Bakhtin's notion of speech genres as an heuristic in order to analyze groups of spoken texts which display similar constellations of compositional, thematic, and stylistic features. Drawing upon a corpus of over 540 naturally-occurring telephone conversations collected in the Kanto and Kansai areas of Japan,
Lindsay Amthor Yotsukura demonstrates how Japanese business professionals present, negotiate and clarify their identities and intentions and enlist and offer assistance with respect to a variety of transactions such as toiawase inquiries, merchandise orders, shipping confirmations, and reports of delivery problems. In the process, she highlights the critical deictic function of linguistic devices such as the no desu (extended predicate) construction in producing formulations, and politeness expressions that index the dynamic uti/soto ('inside'/ 'outside') continuum. She also illustrates some of the ways in which these "negotiating moves" are consonant with a number of Japanese "folk" metalinguistic concepts and expressions in order to underscore the importance of shared assumptions and expectations developed through experience in performing these genres of "talk at work" on a regular, collaborative, basis.
Chapter headings: Introduction. Data and Methodology. the Structure of
Business Transactional Telephone Conversations. Types of Japanese
Business Transactional Telephone Calls. Problem Presentation and
Resolution in Japanese Business Transactional Calls. Cultural and
Sociolinguistic Considerations. Conclusions. Appendixes.
Patricia J. Wetzel, Portland State University, USA 'Negotiating Moves breaks new ground in linguistic pragmatics by approaching
Japanese in terms of 'genres' - typical forms of language that we associate with situations, themes and circumstances. How do Japanese people present problems and seek their resolution? What notions about the world do Japanese people collectively share and bring to bear in negotiating reality? At the intersection of formal linguistics and cultural theory, this book considers the telephone call as a microcosm of Japanese linguistic behavior - both product and process, both system and performance.'