Spoken Japanese is generally considered to be indirect in that utterances are often ambiguous and sound less confident or less assertive than other languages such as English. This study viewed language indirectness from the viewpoint of linguistic evidentiality by analyzing how Japanese speakers linguistically express their degree of commitment to the self-perceived truth value of their statements. Linguistic analysis is based on a corpus of 10,000 utterances from a variety of discourse situations. This analysis focuses on the sentence-ending evidential forms that often express the strongest sentence modality. The data showed that the sentence-ending forms used to express a given type of proposition in a given speech situation was highly consistent among most speakers. The model proposed is based on a modified theory of territory of information. Territory of information is a fundamental psychological concept used by Kamio (e.g. 1994) and others (Labov et al., 1977) to analyze linguistic behavior. This theory states that only certain types of information, to which a speaker has socially authorized primary access, can be expressed by direct sentence endings. However, it is also observed that spoken Japanese sentences are not as syntactically indirect as expected. Semi-direct forms, morphological variants of direct ending-forms, were found to demonstrate the speaker's respect towards the hearer's information territory, and thus produce a shared-information milieu between the speaker and the hearer. For Japanese speakers, expressing respect towards the hearer's knowledge seems to be more important than asserting a proposition's truth value. Therefore, the Japanese evidential system as a whole, which has similarities to the concept of evidentiality in languages such as Kogi, differs from the universal concept of evidentiality.
This study also argues that the situationally appropriate use of evidentials produces both discernmental and strategic politeness. In particular, the appropriate use of evidentials contributes to "intimate politeness" among insiders. Concepts of "evidentiality implicature" and "relativity of information territory" are proposed in light of relevant cultural information.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Theories of linguistic evidentiality
Chapter 3. Discourse modality in Japanese
Chapter 4. Methodology
Chapter 5. Model of Japanese evidentiality
Chapter 6. Japanese linguistic politeness and evidentiality
Chapter 7. Conclusion
TOEFL Test Kanzen Taisaku & Moshi. Trent, Trent, Yonehara, The Japan Times, 2010, 272 pages.
Chapter 1. About the TOEFL Test
Chapter 2. Mastering the Reading Section
Chapter 3. Mastering the Listening Section
Chapter 4. Mastering the Speaking Section
Chapter 5. Mastering the Writing Section
Chapter 6. Sample Test Problems
Chapter 7. Annotated Answer Key
Kanzen Masuta- Nachuraru Eikaiwa Kyoubon. Yonehara, Trent, Nishimura, Nishimura Goken, 2010, 304 pages.
Chapter 1. Greetings
Chapter 2. Appreciation and Apologies
Chapter 3. Making Requests
Chapter 4. Inviting and Declining
Chapter 5. Asking Questions
Chapter 6. Opinions
Chapter 7. Showing Emotions
Chapter 8. Travel
Chapter 9. Campus Life
Chapter 10. Home Stay
Chapter 11. Business
Chapter 12. Everyday Life
The Challenge of English Sentence Subjects (Shugo) to Japanese Learners Nobuko Trent The 2012 Pan-SIG Proceedings, 2013, pp 187-195.
Japanese learners of English in colleges, especially basic level students, tend to have difficulties in determining the proper sentence subject even after years of formal instruction. This problem of sentence structure could seriously hinder their development of English skills because in English sentences, the sentence subject is said to be the most important and powerful element controlling all grammatical elements in the sentence. Japanese sentences are also supposed to have a sentence subject, shugo. On the surface, however, Japanese sentences do not always have a subject, but scholars simply consider this an abbreviation of an understood subject. However, error analyses of Japanese learners of English suggest that the learners may not have correct understanding of sentence subjects in either language. This study presents an analysis of this particular syntactical problem, relates the issues to the theories of Japanese syntax, and proposes solutions to improve English education.
Speaker's information territory and EFL Politeness strategy of Japanese learners of English Nobuko Trent JALT 2012 Conference SIG Proceedings, 2013, pp 266-284.
Some studies on the theory of "speaker's territory of information" (e.g., Kamio, 1979, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2002) suggest that native speakers of Japanese are generally aware of territories of information of their own and other people, try to avoid invading other people's territories, and also invite hearers to the speaker's territory by using different forms of sentence modality. This makes Japanese speech sound indirect; using "correct" indirect modality is one of the pragmatic strategies of linguistic politeness in Japanese (Trent, 1997). Building on previous research, this study qualitatively and quantitatively compares the English spoken by Japanese learners of English with that of native speakers of English. The analyses indicate that English produced by Japanese learners is more direct, when viewed through the theory of speakers' information territory. This study of linguistic politeness may contribute to EFL education by enabling students to understand the language culture behind linguistic politeness.
On Track The Academic Writers Guidebook II. Trent, McCulloch, Rayment, Koizumi Waseda University International Co., Ltd., 2006, 133 pages.
Unit 1: Writing an Expository Essay
Cross-Cultural Discourse Pragmatics: Speaking about Hearsay in English and Japanese. Trent Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education, Volume 3-2, pp 1-31, 1996.
Every language has different systems for expressing third-party information. While in some languages grammar rules stipulate how to do this, in both Japanese and English the degree of indirection or direction a speaker should use to express information obtained as hearsay is genuinely a pragmatic language issue. One may observe that English speakers tend to express hearsay information in more direct forms than Japanese speakers. Cross-cultural discourse analysis, in relation to the concept of speaker's information territory, revealed that English and Japanese have different pragmatic rules for dealing with hearsay information. The issue was analyzed from both cultural and linguistic viewpoints. Implications for foreign language instruction are also suggested.
LSAT no Keiko to Taisaku Trent e-Trans Learning, Babel Press, December 2005, pp 52-74.
1: What is the LSAT?
2: Who organizes the LSAT?
3: How to apply to LSAT
4: Characteristics of LSAT test problems
5: Types of LSAT test problems
6: Target score
7: Sample problems and how to approach them
8: Preparing for the LSAT
Academic Writing Skills and Strategies II. Hurling, McCulloch, Rayment, Trent, Yamazaki Waseda University International Co., Ltd., 2007, 155 pages.
Unit 1: Writing an Expository Essay