Falling in love with style
Expressive functions of stylistic shifts in a Japanese television drama series
This study analyzes the emotive meanings of three strategies - vocatives/reference forms, desu/masu versus da verb forms, and the use and non-use of the interactional particle yo -in a particular Mode of Japanese discourse. The research site is a television drama series, Majo no Jooken (Conditions of a Witch), that depicts a forbidden love affair. With the chronological development of the relationship between the two main characters in focus, the stylistic shift observed in these strategies is understood in terms of different expressive functions, and as a means for presenting different aspects of selves. The analysis is conducted adopting advanced methodologies in conversation analysis and discourse analysis. This study reveals not only that emotion is imbued and omnipresent in language and interaction, but also and more importantly, that linguistic strategy such as stylistic shift expresses changing emotions between the characters, and, in particular, that stylistic shift indexes changing degrees of intimacy.