Genre conventions, speaker identities, and creativity: An analysis of Japanese wedding speeches

Cynthia Dickel Dunn

Abstract

Recent approaches to genre as discourse practice have examined how genres as “orienting frameworks” allow speakers to creatively adapt conventional forms to specific situational contexts. This article analyzes congratulatory speeches at Japanese wedding receptions to show how the interaction of conventionalization and creative contextualization varies across both different parts of the wedding speech and different categories of wedding speakers. The analysis demonstrates how the wedding speech genre provides speakers with a spectrum of performance possibilities which are systematically linked to different speaking roles and social identities.

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