Directives in Japanese Workplace Discourse

  • Naomi Geyer
Part of the Communicating in Professions and Organizations book series (PSPOD)


Directives, utterances designed to get the recipient to do something, are ubiquitous in workplace discourse as well as in daily conversations, and have previously been studied in conjunction with concepts such as politeness, indirectness, entitlement, and contingency. This study investigates directive sequences observed in faculty meetings at Japanese secondary schools, focusing on three directive formulations: (1) -te kudasai; (2) directives with donatory verbs; and (3) to iu koto de. Rather than considering static social contexts unidirectionally affecting language use, this study adopts a discursive approach to directives and examines participants’ linguistic choices in issuing directives in conjunction with several interrelated factors: whether the requested action is considered routine, whether the directive is previously agreed upon, who issues the directive in what capacity, and so on.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naomi Geyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Asian Languages and CulturesUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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