He's more katakana than kanji: indexing identity and self-presentation through script selection in Japanese manga (comics)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the role of script selection in indexing identities and styles of self-presentation within a Japanese manga (comic). By cataloguing where the kanji, hiragana, and katakana scripts are used to represent first person pronouns, I establish the contexts where each script/pronoun combination serves as a locally normative representation. These norms are compared against non-normative representations to gain insight into the local meanings associated with the various scripts. Analysis of the variant forms is combined with an interview with the manga's author. Ultimately, the results reveal that the contribution of script to the meaning of a Japanese text goes beyond any single marked selection, and involves interactions between both locally normative patterns of script use and meaningful local violations of these norms. Selections of script are seen to convey nuances in how meaning is constructed in the text, as well as reflecting wider ideologies about language use in Japan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497–520
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Sociolinguistics
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Japanese
  • indexicality
  • sociolinguistics
  • orthography
  • kanji
  • katakana
  • script
  • Japanese writing
  • language ideology
  • comics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'He's more katakana than kanji: indexing identity and self-presentation through script selection in Japanese manga (comics)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this