spaceCenter for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

Introduction to Speech Acts

Let us assume that you have been studying abroad at a Japanese university in Tokyo for the last few months. This is your first time in Japan. You have taken a few years of Japanese at a university level in the U.S., and you have always been a pretty good student. You are living in a flat with a Japanese roommate, Jun. You love Japanese animation; in fact that is how you initially became interested in the language and culture. You are a music lover, also. Aside from classes in Japanese language, you are studying Japanese history and international relations. You are sociable by nature, which is why you wanted to have a roommate.

Situation 2:

You borrow a book from a professor and accidentally keep it for 3 months! You really meant to return it sooner but than forgot that you hadn’t. After receiving an e-mail inquiry from the professor, you go to his office with a certain amount of trepidation to return the book belatedly. You have every intention of apologizing profusely. Almost on automatic pilot, you go into your typical American apology – even though it is all in Japanese. You give him a detailed explanation of how you intended to return it promptly but somehow forgot. Your professor doesn’t look very happy as you pursue this apology strategy. Is he annoyed about your holding onto the book so long? Is he simply in a bad mood? Is he going to forgive you, or have you made a bad impression? Is he going to hold a grudge?  (In the box below, you can also write some questions that you may have in this situation.)


Your section (if applicable)/Your last name, Your first name:
Example: 010/Smith, John

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