English In Japanese Language Case Study

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1. Introduction
1.1. Scope
My research takes place within the context of Japanese-English language contact. Although individual contacts between native speakers of Japanese and English must have occurred earlier, the Japanese-English language contact attained systematic character in the 19th century. It ebbed briefly in the 1930s, on the onset of the Pacific War, when the government took measures in limiting the use and circulation of English, but was resumed with a new vigour after the War. The presence of English rapidly grew as well as the domains of its usage.
The prolonged and intense language contact has resulted in the nativisation of English borrowings within the Japanese language system. For the overwhelming majority of the population
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However, while the topic of the circulation of English in Japan has fascinated a number of scholars, a significantly smaller number of them dedicated their research to the sociolinguistic aspect of this language contact. One of the earliest works in this area was written by James Stanlaw in 1983. In the article titled “English in Japanese communicative strategies,” he analysed the speech of three male and two female college students in the academic and everyday life situations and noticed certain patterns in their use of English based on the gender of the speaker and the social situation. However, his work had a merely preliminary character due to some of its methodological…show more content…
Since not only English is used in Japanese mass media, but also other European languages such as French or German, he talks about the notion of ‘impersonal multilingualism’ in Japan as well.
The same notion is expressed through Bell’s term “referee design” meaning a language style that responds not to the language of the audience, but to an absent reference group ; and Eastman and Stein “language display,” i.e. the use of out-group language to lay claims to attributes associated with that out-group.
Haarmann has also conducted a research on the use of European languages in women's fashion magazines. He concluded that the combinatory usage of Japanese with some other European language serves to appeal to people’s emotions and not to communicate some information to the readers. However, as Haarmann’s research took place three decades ago, it might no longer fully reflect the current sociolinguistic environment and the audience’s proficiency

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