|Author:||Chik, Sin Yee Sonya|
|Title:||The language of privacy in Japanese and English written discourse : a systemic functional perspective|
|Advisors:||Teruya, Kazuhiro (CBS)|
Matthiessen, Christian (ENGL)
|Subject:||Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations|
Language and culture
English language -- Social aspects
Japanese language -- Social aspects
|Department:||Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies|
|Pages:||xix, 341 pages : color illustrations|
Cross-linguistically, it is interesting to note that while divergence is mainly language-specific, it is the variation in language use in the different social contexts that motivate the selection of different linguistic resources in the given language communities. The findings also reveal that in general Japanese tends to favor the process of 'being' in the experiential domain, i.e. constructing events as processes of identifying, attributing or existing and is oriented toward Circumstance. In contrast, English tends to prefer the process of 'doing' and is Participant-oriented. Interpersonally, it is observed that the construction of modality in Japanese is more lexical and specific in meaning e.g. suru koto ga dekiru 'that doing X is possible', while modality in English is more grammatical and ambiguous in meaning e.g. the modals can and may could carry the meaning of probability, permission, etc. Logically, English tends to be more 'congruent' in the realization of logico-semantic relations through the use of conjunctions while Japanese shows a preference in employing nominal groups and embedded clauses, resulting in a more 'experiential' construal of the logical organization of discourse. This study is significant in a number of ways. On the understanding of privacy as a social construct, it extends our knowledge of this abstract phenomenon by providing a linguistic dimension to it. In terms of register analysis, it provides a comprehensive description of three types of text (legal regulating, expert evaluation and news reporting) in two languages (English and Japanese). The result is a theory-based modeling of language use in context, which could be applied to the linguistic description and analysis of other social phenomena in different social contexts. Last but not least, findings from this study not only shed light on contrastive analysis, but also offer insights into translation studies and advanced language learning.
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