Keynote Speaker: Masahiko Minami

BEAL Forum 5. Plenary Session 3.

Date: Friday, 28 October 2022
Time: 3:30-4:50 pm EDT
Venue: Virtual event via Zoom, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Professor Masahiko Minami
San Francisco State University

“Perspective-taking in Adult Japanese-language Learners’ Oral Narratives: A Cross-Linguistic Comparison”

Abstract: This study, which compares native Japanese speakers and L2 learners of Japanese, discusses the question of what makes narrative sound natural in the light of macro- and micro-narrative structure. The study found that native speakers of Japanese, regardless of topic, tended to use the passive voicetogether with multiple aspect formsat the narrative high points. The use of the passive voice indicates that the speakers’ viewpoint was fixed on the main characters. In contrast, L2 learners, regardless of topic, tended to use the active voice, which indicates that their viewpoint was placed on the subject of the scene. Further, L2 learners scarcely used aspect forms; even if they did, they chose one of them without attempting to combine them. The study discusses whether these differences are attributable to the L2 learner’s L1 transfer or the lack of understanding of the concepts to be acquired in the L2.

BEAL Forum logo - 250x250Bio: Masahiko Minami, who received his doctorate from Harvard University, is a professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at San Francisco State University, where he specializes in Japanese language and cross-cultural studies. He also served as an invited professor at the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (2012–2016). He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Japanese Linguistics. His primary area of interest in research is bilingual education and cross-cultural studies. He has written extensively on psycho/sociolinguistics with a particular emphasis on cross-cultural comparisons of language development and narrative/discourse structure. His major works include Language Issues in Literacy and Bilingual/Multicultural Education (Harvard Educational Review, 1991), Culture-specific Language Styles: The Development of Oral Narrative and Literacy (Multilingual Matters, 2002), Telling Stories in Two Languages: Multiple Approaches to Understanding English-Japanese Bilingual Children’s Narratives (Information Age Publishing, 2011), and the “Handbook of Japanese Applied Linguistics” (De Gruyter Mouton, 2016).

Free and Open to the Public

BEAL Forum 5 Organizing Committee
Faculty Co-Chairs: Mineharu Nakayama, Marjorie K.M. Chan, and Zhiguo Xie
Graduate Student Co-Chairs: Jinwei Ye & Wei William Zhou
Committee Members: Paul Cockrum, Skylor Gomes, Ka Fai Law, Yuki Hattori, Shengxiang Lin, Shun Maruyama, Caroline Norfleet, Saori Wakita, Seojin Yang, Xuan Ye, and Yuhong Zhu

East Asian Studies Center, Graduate Association of Chinese Linguistics (GACL), Graduate Students of East Asian Languages and Literatures (GREALL), Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (DEALL), Department of Linguistics, and the Buckeye Language Network (BLN).

This event is sponsored in part by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant for The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center, programming fund for GACL from the Council on Student Affairs, and by the James H-Y. Tai Buckeye East Asian Linguistics Fund.