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Multifaceted Identity – What Conversations of Japanese Speakers Can Reveal

Yoshiko Matsumoto, Stanford University
Yoshiko Matsumoto, Stanford University
Friday, February 7, 2014 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Savery Hall 136

While identity is often described in terms of discrete social identifiers such as gender, ethnicity and age, the identities observed in natural verbal interactions are more variable and nuanced, both socially and psychologically. Through examination of informal conversations of young and old, male and female, we consider how multiple identities are accessed and constructed in ordinary conversations. A question about expressing identity by learners of Japanese will also be addressed.

Yoshiko Matsumoto is a professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and, by courtesy, in Linguistics at Stanford University. She is also the coordinator of the Japanese Language Program, and an affiliate of the Clayman Institute of Gender Research and of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Her research focuses on issues that emphasize the importance of context in understanding the structure, meaning, and use of language. Her published volumes include Noun-Modifying Constructions in Japanese: A Frame Semantic Approach, John Benjamins (1997); Diversity in Language: Perspectives & Implications, CSLI Publications (2007); and Faces of Aging: The Lived Experiences of the Elderly in Japan, Stanford University Press (2011).

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program at the Jackson School of International Studies. For more information, contact