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THE LINGUISTIC, SOCIAL AND COGNITIVE DIMENSIONS OF A JAPANESE FESTSCHRIFT

Abstract

This paper examines the linguistic, social, and cognitive dimensions of a Japanese Festschrift in honor of Toshio Nakao (Chiba, et al., 1994). The linguistic features of the festschrift include a delayed introduction of the honoree, a description of the honoree's human impact on his students, descriptions of students' wonder at a time of political turmoil, examples showing the honoree working  late to answer his students'  questions,  the honoree's wife's remark, expressions such  as 'our failures" and "inadequacy", and the use of the honoree's full name and titles like "professor" or "teacher". The linguistic features find socio-cultural explanations in Confucian thoughts on hierarchical relationships, ren (kindness, humanity), the virtues of showing students through the door, passing on knowledge and being a model for people to follow; and the virtue of modesty and humility. In addition, the paper reports on a survey on the cognitive effort involved in the understanding of the text. The results indicate that contrary to McCagg (1996), a Japanese text is not necessarily cognitively more demanding for English readers than for Japanese readers.

How to Cite

Ying, I. H., (1999) “THE LINGUISTIC, SOCIAL AND COGNITIVE DIMENSIONS OF A JAPANESE FESTSCHRIFT”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 7, p.16-25.

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Ian H. G. Ying (University of Colorado at Denver)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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