コンテンツへスキップ

学会誌9号-研究論文3(Saito)

Was Women’s Speech Included in 
the Official Language Policy of Meiji Japan?

— The Case of Kōgo Bunten: Guidebooks for Spoken Japanese Grammar

Rika Saito

 
Since the launch of the Meiji language policy, which standardized spoken Japanese as the national language, many Japanese scholars have begun to write kōgo bunten, guidebooks for spoken language grammar, and to establish normative usage of spoken Japanese. Prior to the policy, bunten, guidebooks for Japanese grammar written by native Japanese, only dealt with the grammar of classical or written Japanese. This paper explores how kōgo bunten, which designated the “correct” use of spoken Japanese, addressed women’s speech. In particular I examine whether Japanese kōgo bunten included women’s speech in their examples of spoken Japanese. The inclusion of women’s speech suggests recognition that such speech should be examined as part of the national Japanese standard language. 
 
This study examines specific grammatical elements including personal pronouns, interjections, and sentence-final particles. These grammatical elements generally show some gender-related characteristics in kōgo bunten published from 1901 to 1930. Comparison of different kōgo bunten shows variation at two extremes. On the one hand, some kōgo bunten were objectively and descriptively written, considering only the language. On the other hand, other kōgo bunten were subjective and prescriptive, adding personal normative judgments or opinions. More objective versions of kōgo bunten contained fewer instances of women’s speech; in contrast, more prescriptive versions contained more descriptions. From these results, we find that particular characterization of women’s speech is related to certain attitudes found in linguistic materials. This indicates whether linguistic research, which developed under the Meiji language policy, considered women’s speech as a core issue of national language. After a brief introduction of kōgo bunten published in the Meiji and Taishō periods, this paper examines several examples of kōgo bunten to show how each material refers to women’s speech and how it is associated with the national language policy. 
 
Different Policies of Kōgo Bunten
Japanese linguists and kokugo-gaku (national language studies) scholars began to publish kōgo or zokugo bunten guidebooks for spoken or colloquial Japanese grammar in 1901 (Meiji 34). The number of kōgo bunten reached 20 by 1918.1 These kōgo bunten were preceded by kōgo bunten written by foreign scholars such as Basil Hall Chamberlain (1850-1935) and William George Aston (1841-1911). Bunten written by Japanese scholars before 1901 were all about classical or written Japanese. At that time, only classical Japanese could be commonly and officially used as written language, and only the grammar of the written language was recognized as official. 
 
As Katō Yasuhide assumes, kokugo-gaku scholars did not study kōgo, (spoken language) which they regarded as vulgar.2 Ōtsuki Fumihiko (1847-1928), an advocate for the unification of spoken and written languages (genbun-itchi) and leading kokugo-gaku scholar in Meiji, wrote about classical Japanese grammar in his book “Kō Nihon Bunten,” published in 1897. kōgo bunten began to be published when the Meiji language policy was officially launched, i.e. soon after the leading scholar and bureaucrat of kokugo policy Ueda Kazutoshi (1867-1937) proposed that the national language of Japan should be standardized based on spoken language.3 It is naturally assumed that quite a few Japanese linguists and kokugo-gaku scholars attempted to write grammar for state-certified spoken Japanese.
 
Many kōgo bunten followed the basic language policy of the Meiji government, i.e. they were supposed to be edited in a descriptive manner. However, Kitazawa Hisashi 4 points out that kōgo bunten written before the publication of the government grammar guidebook “Kōgo hō” (Rules of Spoken Language)” in 1916 were extremely diverse. Kitazawa compared 12 different kōgo buntens, including those published during the Meiji and Taishō periods. This paper categorizes such diverse kōgo bunten into two types: kōgo bunten that were objectively and descriptively written, considering only the language, and kōgo bunten that were subjective and prescriptive, adding personal normative judgments or opinions. Consequently, this study examines the fundamental attitude of government language policy toward women’s speech through several examples.
 
“Nihon Zokugo Bunten” (1901) by Matsushita Daizaburō 
Matsushita Daizaburō’s “Nihon Zokugo Bunten” is the first guidebook for colloquial Japanese grammar written by a native Japanese author.5 The most notable characteristic of this book is the description of colloquial patterns of contractions. For example, he often uses these illustrations:
 
tsuki wa…      tsukyā  
[The moon is…]  
tsuki e…  tsukii  
[To the moon…]  
tsuki wo tsukyō  
[… (verb) the moon]  
 
Matsushita uses more colloquial samples in his guidebook for colloquial grammar than other authors of kōgo bunten. He emphasizes that it is important to look at colloquial usage in constructing Japanese grammar:
If we ignore colloquial language because it is vulgar, how can we make a grammar book including both formal and informal expressions? When studying scientific descriptive grammar, we should not separate formal from informal language. Just investigate both the formal and informal. Only when conducting a scientific prescriptive study of grammar, could we exclude colloquial expressions. Such prescriptive study to establish standard language could be realized after descriptive study is completed.6
 
As seen in these comments, his attitude toward language is strictly scientific. He describes both formal and informal expressions equally and carefully avoids any prescriptive judgment. His attitude remained consistent until he published his third guidebook for colloquial grammar, “Hyōjun Nihon Kōgo hō” (The Rules of Standard Colloquial Japanese) in 1930, which was much more prescriptive than his first two guidebooks. I will talk about this book later. 
 
There are no descriptions of which grammatical elements or expressions are used by women in this book. For example, sentence-final particles include: yo, na, nā, ne, nei, te, ze, and zo.7 He never indicated which ones tend to be used by women more than men. Differences in age, class, and region are not addressed either. This seems to result from his thoroughly descriptive attitude. He withholds any judgment about language differentiated by gender, age, class, and region, since these elements depart from homogeneity, which is supposed to be the nature of standard language. Thus, descriptive features of guidebooks for spoken grammar may indicate how closely the guidebooks are associated with the governmental language policy. In this sense, Matsushita’s grammar book accommodates its objective to the governmental language policy; that is, it promotes standardized spoken language. 
 
“Nihon Zokugo Bunten” (1901) by Kanai Yasuzō
As mentioned in the introduction of “Nihon Zokugo Bunten,” Kanai was significantly influenced by his experiences teaching Japanese to Chinese nationals. In the preface, Moroboshi Michinao comments that Kanai’s teaching experience is thoroughly reflected in his writings of this guidebook.8 This book is full of ideas about how to explain grammar understandably to non-native speakers of Japanese. For example, it deals with topics that other grammar books do not address, such how to read numbers9 and kanji characters as well as how to pronounce words. The style of description is hanashi kotoba (spoken Japanese), in contrast with Matsushita, who uses classical Japanese. Moreover, this book was considerably more prescriptive than Matsushita’s grammar book, which was published in the same year. Prescriptive instructions may help students of Japanese as a foreign language to understand and follow social norms employed in the society of the target language. 
 
The prescriptive nature of this book is indicated in the following explanation about personal pronouns:
 
[W]atakushi, a personal pronoun which originates from a certain noun, is also called watashiatashiataiwashi, and wacchi. But these are not formal forms of speech. These terms become more vulgar as they go from the left to the right. Since personal pronouns represent the dignity of both the speaker and hearer, speakers should be careful to use them appropriately.10
 
watakushi     generally used to talk to those who are equal or superior in status
watashi      used by women
atashi, atai      used by girls
washi      used by men, especially by those who are in lower than middle class status
ore a little rougher expression than washi
wacchi      used by men in the lowest class; used by artisans when speaking to superiors
jibun      generally used by both the middle and upper class
temai      generally used by those who are lower than middle class
sessha      mainly used among male townspeople.
boku       only used by students 11
 
Kanai describes each personal pronoun as belonging to a specific social class and gender. These identifications seem to be a little too limited, but they might be necessary to explain to students of Japanese. As for interjections, Kanai also explains that “mā, oya , ara, and are are expressions women primarily use.”12Moreover, he describes the prefixes “o-” or “go-” (e.g. o-mezurashii, o-wan, go-meiwaku, go-mottomo) are “used more by women than by men.”13In the same manner, Kanai collects what is called women’s speech and designates a category of “language used by women” in his book. This attitude can be said to be prescriptive, because it is unlikely that Kanai objectively reflects his observations about language spoken by women in his descriptions. 

“Nihon Kōgo hō” (1906) by Yoshioka Kyōho

Yoshioka states that he primarily adopted the language spoken by the middle class Tokyoites along with some widely used regional varieties. He emphasizes that he never accepted vulgar and incorrect grammatical usage. Yoshioka clarifies differences in the use of first-, second-, third-person pronouns and indefinite pronouns according to the gender of the speakers. He marks gender differences in pronouns where applicable. Pronouns designated by the author as male or female are listed below:14
First-person pronouns [= I]:
watakushi
atakushi (female)
watashi
atashi (female)
jibun
washi (male)
ore (male)
 
*In addition to the pronouns above, first-person pronouns include boku (used among fellow students)., Temae, wacchi (male), ora (male), oira (male) and atai (female) are vulgar words used in informal situations.
 
Second-person pronouns [= you]:
anata
omae
kisama (male)
 

*In addition to the pronouns above, second-person pronouns include heika (used for the emperor), denka(for Imperial family members), kakka (for high government officials), gozen (for nobles), sensei (for master-hands) and kimi (used among fellow students).

Third-person pronouns (selected) [this person, that person]:
koitsu (male)
soitsu (male)
aitsu (male)
 
Indefinite pronouns (selected) [= which person]:
doitsu (male)
 
Interjections listed by Yoshioka do not indicate any gender distinction. Here are some examples:15
 
ā, itai [Oh, ouch!]
ō, kowai [Oh, it’s scary]
mā, migoto da koto [Wow, it’s excellent!]
oya, sō desu ka [Oh, is that so?]
hora, nuita zo [There you are, I got a head on him.]
ara, anna koto wo ossharu [Oh, you are saying such a thing]
yai, mate [Hey, wait!]
oi, dōshita [Hey, what happened?]
dore (dorya) torikakarō [Well, let’s get to work]
sā, mairimashō [Well, let’s go]
 
Sentence-final particles in Yoshioka’s book, some of which are considered in other grammar books as words used exclusively by females or males, are not referred to as gendered. Some examples follow:16
 
Sono toki wa kimi ni sōdan suru tsumori sa. [I will consult you then]
Tomoda kun ga kita zo. [Mr. Tomoda comes] 
Miru hodo no mono dewa nai ze. [That’s not worth seeing]
Kanshin na hito desu nā (na). [It is commendable of him/her]
Watashi mo mairimasu yo. [I will come, too]
Watashi wa mairimasen wa. [I will not come]
 
Among the examples above, the first four (-sa, -zo, -ze, and - nā) are generally used by men, whereas the last sentence (-wa) is supposed to be used by women. However, Yoshioka does not indicate this gender difference in sentence-final particles. He explains that an interrogative postpositional particle -ka is sometimes omitted in the sentence ended by -noka (e.g. Okyaku sama wa okaeri ni natta no) and claims that this usage should be abolished.17The usage of -no as an interrogative postpositional particle is generally observed in women’s speech, which Yoshioka does not mention. He also raises other similar examples that “are vague and vulgar,”18 which should be thrown away:
 
Nii san wa okaeri nasu(sa)tte. [Did that young man go home?] 
Sore de yokkutte. [Is that okay for you?]
Sore de ii koto [Is that okay for you?]
 
His book does not mention that these vulgar forms were used by young women at that time. In reality, “-te” “-teyo”or “-koto” were often criticized by literary critics and educators as unsophisticated language used by jogakusei(school girls) during the 1900s. Yoshioka suggested that language used by jogakusei should be avoided. Thus, there are several examples that are gender specific elements, but his description about gender differences is not consistent.
 
“Nihon Kōgo ten” (1904) and “Nihon Kōgo Bunten” (1906) by Suzuki Nobuyuki
 
After his first grammar book, “Nihon Kōgo ten,” was published in 1904 (herein referred to as “Kōgo ten, 1904”), Suzuki published another grammar book entitled “Nihon Kōgo Bunten” in 1906 (herein referred to as “Bunten, 1906”). His fundamental philosophy regarding colloquial grammar, which was strictly limited to the colloquial usage of Tokyo-go, did not change between the two books, although his writing style shifted from colloquial dearimasu to dearu.19 In his later book, sentences often ended in the bungo (classical Japanese) style, for instance, with -nari, -nu, and -zu. The following pronouns are listed in Bunten, 1906:20
 
First-person [I] Second-person [you] Third-person [that person]
watakushi
watashi
atakushi
atashi
boku
temae*
anata (polite)
kimi (equal)
omae (humble)**
ano kata (polite)
ano hito
are / kore (humble)
aitsu (humble)
         *temai in Kōgo ten, 1904.
         **omai in Kōgo ten, 1904.
 
watakushi and atakushi are more polite than watashi and atashiAtakushi and atashi are specifically referred to as female speech (fujin-go).21 The second description regarding gender was added to Bunten, 1906 but did not exist in Kōgo ten, 1904. Interjections ara, mā, and are are referred to as female speech (fujin-go). Suzuki mentions that “these are used only by young women.”22
 
Ara, iyana koto nē. (female speech) [Gee, that’s too bad.]
Are, dōshimashō. (female speech) [Oh, what should I do?]
 
He also explains that sentence-final particles yo, na and wa are primarily used by women.

yo 
Atashi yokutte yo. [It’s fine with me.]
Honto ni omoshiroi kata yo. [S/he is a very funny person.]

na (It is used as fujin-go only by those who are close with each other

Choito misete chōdai na. [Don’t you show it to me?]Sukoshi matte kudasai na.[Wait for a minute, please.]

wa (It is exclusively used by women)

Nandaka okashiiwa.[It sounds funny.]

Anokata nara ii wa. [That person will be fine with me.]

The next two examples regarding postpositional particle -no and prefix o- appear only in Bunten, 1906. A postpositional particle -no that equals an interrogative particle -ka is explained as fujin-go (female language):
-No remains after -ka is dropped from -noka. . . . -No as an interrogative can be fujin-go in most cases because -no sounds soft.23
 
Omae wa itsu kaeru noka. [When are you going to be back?]

Omae wa itsu kaeru no. [When are you going to be back?]

Interrogative sentences without postpositional particles, such as -ka, -kai, and -no, appear as follows:24 
anata kondo no Kabukiza wo goran ni natte. [Have you watched the recent Kabukiza?]
Dokoka byōki ja nakutte. [Aren’t you sick?]
Mō shiken ga sunde. [Have you finished the exam?]
Shashin no utsushita no atte. [Do you have your portrait?]

 
There are examples of fujin-go related to the importance of “graceful expressions.” The prefix o- in these examples has such a function:
o yoroshii [good] o yasashii [kind] (o- and adjectives)
okashi [sweets] osen [rice cracker] oimo [sweet potato]
onegi [leek] ohashi [chopsticks] okama [pot]
onabe [pan] owan [bowl] (o- and nouns)
 
Since both Suzuki’s kōgo bunten are concerned with colloquial Tokyo-go, it can be said that they are closely associated with the standardization of spoken Japanese. These books indicate that Tokyo-go contains numerous examples of women’s speech, especially the latest version (Bunten, 1906). Therefore, Suzuki’s attitude toward standard Japanese gradually became more prescriptive in terms of gendered speech.
 
“Kōgo-hō Zen” (1916) Kokugo Chōsa Iinkai 
 
This is the first state-authorized grammar guidebook for spoken Japanese. Ōtsuki Fumihiko wrote the draft; committee members, such as Ueda Kazutoshi, Haga Yaichi, Fujioka Katsuji, Ōya Tōru, and Hoshina Kōichi polished it. The Preface states, “[A]lthough there needs to be further research on this topic (standard grammar of spoken language), it should go public now.”25 This remark reveals that government standardization had concluded to a certain degree and that it was time to demonstrate the result. This kōgo bunten is representative of norms for spoken Japanese.
 
Kōgo-hō Zen does not describe gender and class differences in language use except for first-person pronouns such as boku, which is exclusively used by men. This book established the prescriptive norm of standard spoken language, since it did not withhold prescriptive judgment about language use differentiated by gender and class. This tendency would be borrowed by later guidebooks for colloquial grammar, such as Yamada Yoshio’s “Nihon Kōgo-hō Seigi” (1922), Hashimoto Shinkichi’s “Shin Bunten Jōkyū-yō” (1935) and “Shin Bunten Shokyū-yō” (1936). These books do not include any description of gender, class, and regional varieties. Katō Yasuhide interprets this tendency as a decline of spoken grammar, which began to follow written grammar.26 Possible varieties of spoken grammar were integrated into a single grammar of written language. This also indicates a gradual shift in the official language policy, i.e., the norm of spoken language began to be determined by the norm of written literary texts. This aspect of the government guidebook for colloquial grammar contrasts with the one written by Matsushita in 1930,27 which contains quite a few norms for women’s speech and differentiated usage by class.
 
“Hyōjun Nihon Kōgo-hō” (1930) by Matsuhita Daizaburō
In contrast with Matsushita’s first guidebook “Nihon Zokugo Bunten” (1901), “Hyōjun Nihon Kōgo-hō” (1930) has lengthy explanations about women’s speech. However, Matsushita’s primary language philosophy did not change, as shown in his comment on hyōjun-go (standard language):
 
Hyōjun-go is the norm of kokugo [national language]. Therefore, it should not be a false one. It should not be a nice-looking fake that scholars extract from various regional dialects. . . . Tokyo-go is most appropriate for Japanese standard language. . . . Tokyoites include the old and the young, males and females, the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, etc., whose languages are different from each other. Therefore, if you exclude language used by maidservants, craftspeople, kids, females, and so on, when making standard language, it would be very poor in content.28
 
He claimed to include women’s speech when creating the nation’s standard language and added more normative use of language by gender as seen in the following descriptions about the usage of sentence-final particles and
 
and are slightly different. is articulated with a widely open mouth and is articulated with a flatly open mouth. The speaker must conceive differently when s/he articulates these words. If the mouth is widely opened, one gives blunt, active, masculine, and strict impressions on others. If flatly, one gives humble, feminine, and friendly impressions. If one uses nā after polite markers desu or masu, that would be the most polite expression with an active image for males. However, it cannot be used by females. As for , it becomes a polite expression for females when it is used with polite phrases: yō gozaimasu nē. . . . . . . If you use and after the plain form (without desu and masu), e.g. yoi nā, this expression does not include any politeness at all. Therefore, it cannot be used by females except in monologues.29
(*Emphasis mine)
Matsushita emphasizes that women should be more polite than men by restraining women from the use of certain sentence-final particles. In describing the usage of sentence-final particle wa, he mentions that wa is fujin-go (female language), which is able to express sympathetic feelings to others in a straightforward manner. However, in the case of wayo, he warns:
 
Around the end of the Meiji period, wayo emerged as fujin-go. This seems to originally come from the pleasure quarters. After the Taishō period, it began to be used in general. . . Aru wa is an elegant word and you cannot use it to make a quarrel. But aru wayo can be used when fighting. I hope that educators teach their students to avoid using wayo as language in women’s use.30
 
Just as with the warning about the usage of nā, he cautions women not to use language that is powerful enough to argue with others. Moreover, he talks about an honorific prefix o- as fujin-go or shōni-go (language for children). 
Linguistic beautification by the use of o- is particularized for females and children. It is not for adult males. If either old or young females do not use any beautified expressions, her speech sounds rude. . . . . . . On the other hand, adult males should not use such beautified language lest their speech sound weak. Some Tokyoites, uneducated merchants and artisans, often use beautified words, such as o-yu [hot water] and o-kome [rice], which is the invasion of fujin-go.31
Thus, Matsushita’s latest kōgo bunten has many gender norms in language use. Considering his primary philosophy on standard language, i.e. the inclusion of women’s speech (one of the spoken varieties) in the standardization of Japanese, the clear distinction between femininity and masculinity in Japanese language is significant in establishing the standard language. 
 

Marginalization of Women’s Speech

As discussed, kōgo bunten provides a typical representation of Japanese official language policy, which originally aimed to examine the variety of spoken Japanese in a scientific and descriptive manner. In the beginning, kōgo bunten seemed to be more descriptive than prescriptive, as indicated by the presence or absence of the explanation of gender or class differences in grammatical usage. This tendency is apparent when comparing Matsushita Daizaburō’s first kōgo bunten, published in 1901, to the one written in 1930. More descriptive kōgo buntens contain fewer references to women’s speech, while more prescriptive ones contain more references. Some prescriptive kōgo buntens clearly state that the inclusion of women’s speech in the national language policy is necessary. Such kōgo bunten consider women’s speech as an important gender norm of standard Japanese; however, this resulted in the marginalization of women’s speech within the standard language policy.32

 
Another noted characteristic is that the initial works of kōgo bunten in the 1900s did not specify women’s speech unless the books were written for foreign students of Japanese. The kōgo bunten used for foreign students were more prescriptive rather than descriptive, because they needed to deliver sociolinguistic rules; in other words, such kōgo bunten demonstrated how to use certain varieties of spoken Japanese depending on gender, age, and social status differences. Just as spoken Japanese for foreigners was not included in a variety of spoken Japanese targeted by the national language policy, women’s speech was recognized as a gendered linguistic marker and marginalized within the system of the standardized policy. 
 
References
Primary Sources: 
“Nihon Zokugo Bunten” (1901) by Matsushita Daizaburō
“Nihon Zokugo Bunten” (1901) by Kanai Yasuzō
“Nihon Kōgo hō” (1906) by Yoshioka Kyōho
“Nihon Kōgo ten” (1904) by Suzuki Nobuyuki
“Nihon Kōgo Bunten” (1906) by Suzuki Nobuyuki
“Kōgo-hō Zen” (1916) Kokugo Chōsa Iinkai 
“Hyōjun Nihon Kōgo-hō” (1930) by Matsuhita Daizaburō
 
Secondary Sources:
  • Katō Yasuhide. “Zokugo bunten to Meiji-ki kōgo.” Kokubungaku kaishaku to kanshō52, no. 7 (July 1987): 64-71.
  • Kitazawa Hisashi. “Meiji kōki no kōgo bunten no shosō.” Kokugo kenkyū 47 (March 1984): 37-53.
  • Lee Yeounsuk. “Kokugo” to iu shisō: Kindai hinon no gengo shinshiki. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1996.
  • Moroboshi Michinao.”Kaisetsu.” Nihon zokugo bunten zen. Edited by Kitahara Yasuo and Yoshida Tōsaku. Tokyo: Bensei shuppan, 2000.
  • Shiozawa Kazuko.”Gendai kōgo bunpō no seiritsu.” Kōza nihongogaku 3. Gendai bunpō to no shiteki taishō. Tokyo: Meiji shoin, 1981.
  • Tanaka Akio. Hyōjungo: Kotoba no komichi. Tokyo: Seibundō shinkō-sha, 1991.
Notes
  1. Shiozawa, 1981. Back to text
  2. Katō, 1987.  Back to text
  3. Ueda Kazutoshi (1867-1937) gave a lecture about standard language entitled “Hyōjun-go ni tsukite” in 1885. Back to text
  4. Kitazawa, 1984.5 Matsushita, 1902: 1.  Back to text
  5. Matsushita, 1902: 1-2.  Back to text
  6. Ibid.  Back to text
  7. Ibid., 156.  Back to text
  8. Moroboshi, 2000.  Back to text
  9. In Japanese grammar, there is a specific designation for numerical distinction for size and shape.  Back to text
  10. Kanai, 1902:61-62.  Back to text
  11. Ibid., 63-64. Back to text
  12. Ibid., 125-126.  Back to text
  13. Ibid., 170.  Back to text
  14. Yoshioka, 1906: 15-18.  Back to text
  15. Ibid., 83-84.  Back to text
  16. Ibid., 85.  Back to text
  17. Ibid., 161.  Back to text
  18. Ibid.  Back to text
  19. Both the dearimasu style and the dearu style are colloquial styles, but dearu is only used in written language, whereas dearimasu is called “the speech style” and used orally.  Back to text
  20. Suzuki, 1906: 58.  Back to text
  21. Ibid.  Back to text
  22. Ibid., 268.  Back to text
  23. Ibid., 266-267.  Back to text
  24. Ibid., 267-268.  Back to text
  25. Kokugo Chōsa Iinkai, 1916: Preface.  Back to text
  26. Kato, 1987: 70-71.  Back to text
  27. This is his third grammar book following Hyōjun Nihon Bunpō published in 1928.  Back to text
  28. Matsushita, [1930] 1961: 6.  Back to text
  29. Ibid.  Back to text
  30. Ibid.  Back to text
  31. Ibid.  Back to text
  32. Many scholars point out that standard Japanese in the Meiji period modeled the language spoken by the middle-class living in the Yamanote area (e.g. Tanaka, 1991). Lee Yeounsuk argues that languages distinguished from the standard, such as regional dialects, were marginalized within the system of standardization by being “marked” as non-standard varieties (Lee, 1996). Since the middle-class in general meant only male speakers, women’s speech was not included in the standardized variety, instead marked as a non-standard like regional dialects.  Back to text

*This paper is based on chapter 4 of my unpublished dissertation, “Building and Maintaining Women’s Speech: Covert Language Policy and Gender Construction in Japan.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2005. I gave a presentation on similar issues of women’s speech in kōgo bunten at Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities on January 13, 2007.

 
(Rika Saito, Assistant Professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University)
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 2001 The Society for Gender Studies in Japanese
All Rights Reserved.