Edited by Mutsuko Endo Hudson, Yoshiko Matsumoto and Junko Mori
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 285] 2018
► pp. 245–266
Drawing on the indexical view of language (Agha 2007; Eckert 2008, 2012; Silverstein 1979, 2003), I reexamine the notion of (normative) linguistic femininity by analyzing metapragmatic discourse in self-help books on Japanese women’s speech. My analysis demonstrates that what is taught as ideal speech for women by self-help books is broader and more complex than the scholarly characterization of joseego ‘women’s language.’ Based on the findings, I discuss the role of language ideology in the process of linking linguistic forms and social meanings, the multiplicity and variability of indexical meanings, the importance of sexuality for linguistic femininity, the coordination of multiple linguistic and extra-linguistic features to index social meanings, and the use of linguistic (and extra-linguistic) features as creative indexes.
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