A comparison between the use of Japanese second-person pronouns by native and non-native speakers of Japanese
Tan, Zhi Xian
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Although the topic of second person pronouns as a whole has received a lot of attention, there has been no research done on the Japanese learner’s use of them. While the correct use of second person pronouns can help to deepen the bonds between the Japanese learner and the employees in the Japanese company, the wrong use of pronouns will surely offend them. This study compares the use of four second person pronouns, anata, omae, kimi, and anta, by native and non-native speakers of Japanese through the use of questionnaires, and reveals the second person pronouns used by non-native speakers of Japanese for the first time. Overall, a trend has been observed where male non-native speakers of Japanese who have high levels of Japanese proficiency, as well as female non-native speakers of Japanese who had previously attended an exchange program in Japan, use a wider variety of second person pronouns. Following, three deviations from past research on the use of kimi and anata by female native Japanese speakers were found as well. Findings from this study can help Japanese companies to mitigate their expectations of potential employees, and take suitable steps to pre-emptively solve any foreseeable problems that may arise.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University