A Discourse Analysis of Japanese Invitational Strategies and Expressions: Differences Between Japanese Native Speakers and Non-Native Speakers
Japanese invitation has drawn many linguists' attention for its unique social-cultural features and strategies such as kikubari "careful consideration, thoughtfulness" (Szatrowski, 1993). Yet, very few of them have examined the invitational expressions from a linguistic perspective. The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences of invitational strategies and expressions between Japanese native and non-native speakers, and to further explore its implication on instructional practices. With regard to discourse analysis, this research collected conversational data by conducting a role-play of invitation. Through analyzing the invitational expressions in the conversational sequences, it was found that while native speakers dynamically choose multiple invitational expressions in response to the invitees' reactions and linguistic/non-linguistic hints, non-native speakers often ignore or misjudge the invitees' suggestion and use limited expressions inappropriately. After analyzing the six major differences between native Japanese speakers and non-native speakers, this research proclaims there are three barriers: linguistic barrier, cultural barrier, and environmental barrier. These barriers cause inappropriate invitation. My study suggests that Japanese instructors should introduce the concept of "addressee oriented" to students in order to avoid pragmatically inappropriate invitations. Also, this study calls for situational practices, which integrate the functions of each invitational expression into one invitational sequence. In addition to the practices for invitational grammars, students need more opportunity to listen to authentic Japanese invitations in order to acquire expressions that support invitational conversation.
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