Nona Moskowitz

Japan

My research interests focus on the interplay and connection between Japanese socio-cultural categories/phenomenon and formal features of the Japanese language. Most recently I have explored the role of the deictic anchor point and its relation to conceptions of self in Japan. The deictic anchor point grounds the speech act in a given time or space, a role traditionally attributed to the individual, egocentric self. My research examines whether Japanese can be said to have two deictic anchor points, an individual and a group anchor point.

This summer I will conduct a socio-linguistic research project on the interview, considering whether the in-group/out-group consciousness that affects interpersonal interaction in Japan is mapped onto the interview context. I explore the nature, use, and cultural meaning/purpose that the interview retains in Japan by examining television, radio, magazine interviews, etc., what they are used for, and what types of questions are asked. Additionally, I will attempt to simulate an in-group and out-group context for interviews by conducting interviews with both persons whom I know from my previous stay in Japan and persons whom I do not know in order to determine whether my relationship to the interviewee has an affect on the interview process.

This project (and hopefully future research) will be conducted in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the southern-most prefecture on the main Japanese island of Honshu.