Vowel-marking as an Interactional Resource in Japanese Novice ESL Conversation

  • Donald Carroll


Novice Japanese speakers of English as a foreign language are often stereotyped, fairly or unfairly, as speaking in what might be described as kana-speak, that is, English spoken as if written in the Japanese hiragana/katakana syllabary.l In fact, many EFL texts designed for the Japanese market provide katakana transliterations for English words and phrases. For example, ‘What is that thing?’ might be rendered as ‘What-o iz-u zat-o shing-u?’ One specific feature of this style of speech, that of adding vowels to word-final consonants, will be referred to in this paper as vowel-marking. Extract 1 below contains eight instances of vowel-marking.




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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Donald Carroll

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