Papersin JapaneseVol. 5Linguistics1976-77REPORTING STYLES AS DISCOURSE STRATEGIES—Astudy in Japanese and E n g l i s h —Claudia RossUniversity1.ofMichiganIntroductionPerhaps the most difficult differences to account for betweenlanguages are those of the usage of corresponding language structures,i . e . differences in the application of similar or identical syntactic rules,or in the use of particular sentence types, or in the distinctions madeby vocabulary to describe similar real world phenomena. These differences tend to be labelled 'stylistic 1 , and dismissed from the realmof linguistic concern as unsystematic peculiarities of languages, which,especially in the case of vocabulary, tend to reflect facts about theirspeakers rather than about the languages themselves.This paper will suggest that stylistic phenomena are systematic,and work in conjunction with syntactic rules in languages. It will beillustrated here that seemingly unrelated stylistic differences betweenJapanese and English can be accounted for in terms of one basic discourse level difference between them: the tendency to directly report inJapanese, and to indirectly report in English.I will begin with a discussion of direct and indirect reporting inJapanese and English, showing that the tendency to directly report InJapanese, and to indirectly report in English, is in part the result ofdifferent syntactic constraints on reporting, and
Journal of Japanese Linguistics – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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