Gender, Language and Ideology
A genealogy of Japanese women's language
The book examines women’s language as an ideological construct historically created by discourse. The aim is to demonstrate, by delineating a genealogy of Japanese women’s language, that, to deconstruct and denaturalize the relationships between gender and any language, and to account for why and how they are related as they are, we must consider history, discourse and ideology. The book analyzes multiple discourse examples spanning the premodern period of the thirteenth century to the immediate post-WWII years, mostly translated into English for the first time, locating them in political, social and academic developments and describing each historical period in a manner easily accessible for those readers not familiar with Japanese history. This is the first book that describes a comprehensive development of Japanese women’s language and will greatly interest students of Japanese language, gender and language studies, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and history, as well as women’s studies and sexuality studies.
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, 58] 2014. xv, 253 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
List of figures and tables
List of abbreviations in transcriptions
Notes on Japanese names, the Romanization of Japanese language and translation of Japanese into English
Part 1. Women’s speech as the object of regulation
Chapter 1. The norms of feminine speech
Chapter 2. Normalization of court-women’s speech
Part 2. Gender and national language
Chapter 3. Construction of a national language for men
Chapter 4. Modernization of the norms of feminine speech
Chapter 5. Creating indexicality: Schoolgirl speech
Chapter 6. Masculinizing the national language
Part 3. Women’s language into national language
Chapter 7. Women’s language as imperial tradition: Legitimating colonization
Chapter 8. Gendering of the national language under national mobilization
Part 4. Essentializing women’s language
Chapter 9. Women’s language as reflection of femininity
Chapter 10. A gendered Japanese national language: Symbol of patriarchy
Conclusion: Going beyond the gendered linguistic ideologies
“In this wide-ranging work, Momoko Nakamura develops a challenging, sometimes surprising, but always persuasive critical corrective to deeply entrenched, essentialist conceptions of Japanese women’s language. Her historical discourse approach provides an especially productive vantage point not only on language and gender in Japan but on the formation and transformation of language ideologies everywhere.”
Richard Bauman, Indiana University
“Through a critical analysis of voluminous historical data on metalinguistic discursive practices, Momoko Nakamura, a preeminent scholar of Japanese language and gender, effectively denaturalizes the orthodox relationship between language and gender and elucidates the process and implications of the ideological construction of “Japanese women’s language.” A stimulating and invaluable addition to the field!”
Shigeko Okamoto, University of California, Santa Cruz
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