Speech level shift in Japanese and Slovene
Keywords:speech level, speech level shift, politeness, formal style, informal style
In verbal communication, we always aim to establish and maintain harmonious relations with others. Proper use of expressions and the choice of the way we speak are closely connected with politeness. In Japanese speech level is a level of formality or politeness in conversation, which is expressed by the use of linguistic forms (formal vs. informal) within and at the end of an utterance and the use of honorific expressions. In Slovene the level of formality or politeness in conversation is mainly expressed by the use of formal language and general colloquial language. Speech level shift is a shift from one speech level to another – e.g. from a formal style to an informal, etc. According to previous research, these shifts express speaker's psychological distance and a change of attitude towards a hearer. In this paper I will first briefly present the theoretical framework of politeness and an outline of speech levels in Japanese and Slovene. I will then present the data and the method used in this study. Finally, I will present and discuss the results of the analysis of both Japanese and Slovene conversation.
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