Publication details [#48598]

Ohashi, Jun. 2008. Linguistic rituals for thanking in Japanese: Balancing obligations. Journal of Pragmatics 40 (12) : 2150–2174.
Publication type
Article in journal
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Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


This analysis of a common Japanese cultural way of thanking (outside a family circle), o-rei, reveals that conversational participants cooperate to achieve a mutual pragmatic goal of ‘debt–credit’ equilibrium. The paper questions the efficiency of the definition of thanking as ‘expressing gratitude and appreciation’, generally used in cross-cultural and inter-language pragmatic studies, arguing that the mutual and reciprocal aspects have to be taken into consideration.