Inside or Outside: Discourse strategies of Finnish and Japanese workers in Japan

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Institutionen för språk, litteratur och lärande

Abstract: The aim of this cross-cultural study is to analyze discourse strategies between Finnish and Japanese participants regarding the indexing of in-group and out-group dynamics in Japanese communication. This research is going to concentrate on Finnish and Japanese people’s use of Japanese language to establish uchi/soto (inside/outside) relationships in work-related instances. This study focuses solely on the in-group and out-group dynamics and socio-pragmatic features during interactions with addressees from inside and outside the company, because in these situations the contrast between the dynamics of in-groups and out-groups is often more transparent. The data was processed and analyzed using a Discourse Completion Task (DCT) survey.This research aims to answer two questions: How different are the nuanced uses of polite expressions and the politeness strategies between the Finnish and the Japanese respondents, and could it be possible that both respondent groups index uchi and soto relationships in the same way through language use?The results showed similarities in the use of politeness strategies between both groups. Differences were found in code-switching between various politeness levels. The data only serves as an indicator for the hypothesis and gives further room for future research.

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