Advanced high-technology communications has brought significant changes to language presentation. Considering the role of written languages and their evolution, this paper discusses the materiality of language, particularly the increased visuality of written Japanese in socio-cultural and psychological contexts. An incorporation of graphics into linguistic presentations (e.g., picturisation of letters and characterisation of graphics) is a prevailing, current phenomenon. Graphic symbols (e.g., emoticons) have increasingly come to express writers' feelings in electronic communications. New graphic writings have also come into existence. This is exemplified by girls' stylised letters/characters, born in a fusion of social, cultural, historical and psychological changes: the demand for efficiency, commercialisation and the fictionality derived from writers' desires for self-expression, conformity and anonymity. The intensified visuality in linguistic presentations indicates that today's written discourses convey less intellectual information and more aesthetic and/or emotional values. This certainly reflects this period of excessive information. I suggest, however, the strong visual performance of Japanese writing is intrinsic. There is a marked similarity between today's writing and that of the Heian period (794-1192), in terms of aesthetics and psychologies. We write to communicate with others and ourselves, therefore the exploration of writing styles shows a cross-section of our social and mental activities.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of a conference held in 2003 on language education in Australian and New Zealand universities|
|Place of Publication||Melbourne|
|Publisher||The University of Melbourne, School of Languages|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
|Event||Marking Our Difference Conference 2003 - Melbourne|
Duration: 1 Oct 2003 → 3 Oct 2003
|Conference||Marking Our Difference Conference 2003|
|Period||1/10/03 → 3/10/03|
Bryce, M. (2004). Visuality of writing in our modern world of multimedia and mass communication: focusing on the written Japanese. In G. Wigglesworth (Ed.), Proceedings of a conference held in 2003 on language education in Australian and New Zealand universities (pp. 238-254). Melbourne: The University of Melbourne, School of Languages.