Gentlemanly gender? Japanese men's use of clause-final politeness in casual conversations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Much of the Japanese language and gender literature discusses the differential use of polite language by women and men. The exchange of non-reciprocal clause-final speech levels is typically taken as a sign that interlocutors are of unequal social status. Cook (1998) has shown how Japanese speakers manipulate the use of clause-final politeness in order to index particular stances in specific moments of ongoing verbal interaction. Using naturally occurring all-male informal conversations, this paper examines the use of clause-final politeness as marked by the presence or absence of the verb ending ∼masu [+politeness] by Japanese men in the Kansai (Western) region. The data provide a deeper understanding into how men exploit linguistic structures such as politeness, at the everyday local level, to create, maintain, and manage particular identities and/or stances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-92
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Sociolinguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Discourse analysis
  • Gender (masculinities)
  • Japan
  • Politeness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Gentlemanly gender? Japanese men's use of clause-final politeness in casual conversations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this