The Form and Function of Speech Level in Japanese Debate
109 , 2017-09-25 , 九州大学大学院地球社会統合科学府
This study aims to reveal the morphology and function of speech level shift, as well as the function of speech level shift maintenance in Japanese debate. Speech level in Japanese debate is generally classified into “desu-masu” form and “non-desu-masu” form. This paper seeks to clarify the function of “desu-masu” form shifting to “non-desu-masu” form, as well as “non-desu-masu” form shifting to “desu-masu” form. This study will shed light on forms of speech level shift maintenance that have not been discussed in previous studies. We have used the Japan Debate Association (JDA) official website to gather literal data from 24 JDA-organized competitions, which are staged for native Japanese speakers. The results show that the function of speech level shifts in three parts; from the constructive speech, to the cross examination, and final rebuttal. During the constructive speech, there were four functions: 1. Showing contention; 2. Refutation; 3. Repeating meta language; and 4. Presenting a summary. There were also four functions in the cross examination: 1. Second confirmation; 2. Topic switching; 3. Repeating meta language; and 4. Refutation. In the rebuttal speech, there were five functions: 1. Showing calm; 2. Topic switching; 3; Refutation; 4. Presenting a summary; and 5. Repeating the constructive speech. These results could be a valuable resource for those involved in Japanese education, particularly when helping advanced Japanese learners develop their public speaking skills.