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How & why do Koreans and Japanese shift styles to plain forms? : In a spoken discourse genre of TV cooking programs. Heeyeong JUNG The University of Hawaii at Manoa. Introduction. Plain form. Honorific form. formal setting older age higher position. informal setting younger age

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How & why do Koreans and

Japanese shift styles to plain forms?

: In a spoken discourse genre of TV cooking programs

Heeyeong JUNG

The University of Hawaii at Manoa


Plain form

Honorific form

formal setting

older age

higher position

informal setting

younger age

lower position


However, the intermixed usage of different speech styles

appears in real discourse data!!

How does style choice appears in the same spoken

discourse genre in Korean & Japanese?

style shifting studies in KOR

~습니다 ~어/아요~다

(-) boundary

(+) boundary

Strauss & Eun

formal public



everyday speech


formal writing

Lee, H -S

stance marker

suggestion, offer

Kim, K -H


perception of stimulus

Iwasaki, S

reactive token

attention getter

self repair

stance marker

Noh, G

style shifting studies in JPN

masu form plain form


speech level marker


speech level marker

(+) distance (empathy)

(-) distance (empathy)


low conscious of ‘thou’

high conscious of ‘thou’



lack of self-presentation


Research Qs

Q1) What are discourse functions and motivations of the shifting to the plain forms shown in TV

cooking shows?

Q2) Are there any function differences & similarities in style shifting in Korean and Japanese?

Participant roles


  • assist chef

  • taste food items

  • report info

  • clarify info

  • cook food

  • provide knowledge

  • (technique, procedure)

Discourse functions



on taste/shapes

  • assist chef

  • taste food items

  • report info

  • clarify info

  • cook food

  • provide knowledge

  • (technique, procedure)

assessment on shapes, knowledge




Soliloquy remarks

Soliloquy remarks

KOR: H’s summarizing

쇠고기 말이 편채

Summarizing with low tone

JPN: H’s summarizing

  • 362 H: fukin ga koko ni arimasu jaa kore osaete okimasu ne

  • ‘There is a dish towel here. Let me hold (the container)’ 

  • 363 C: totte itadakimashite konomama samashite itadakimasu

  • ‘Pull(it)out, cool down this way’

  • ((pulls out the cake from the container))

  • 364H: konomama samasu konomama iretamama da to jooki ga de

  • ‘Cool down this way, there comes moisture if (you) leave the cake

  • (in the container)’

  • C: de ano suijooki ga koko ni tamarimasu node beechatto

  • shimaimasu node

  • ‘Moisture remains and (the cake) gets soggy.’

  • H: dashita jootai de samasu to iu

  • ‘(We should) cool down outside’

  • 367 C: hai

Summarizing with low tone

KOR: Providing knowledge

파인애플 티라미수


C’s professional


Line 320:


JPN: Providing knowledge

  • 12 H: de konna jootai ni naru n desu yo ne ima kara itadaitte mitara ne hai

  • ‘Then, (it) becomes like this condition if (I) see now.’

  • 13 C: kore wa uragoshishita mon desu yo ne

  • ‘This is the one (I) put through with a sieve.’

  • 14 H: hai

  • 15C: koo yuu huu ni nameraka ni naru

  • ‘(It) becomes smoother like this.’

  • H: ee ee ee ato ne soo ka uragoshi o suru to iu no wa tada nameraka ni suru n jaa nakute

  • ‘I see, oh! The straining is not only for making (it) smoother.’

  • 17 ano aji ga koo ittaikan

  • ‘But also for getting one harmonizing (taste)’

  • C: soo choomiryoo no ne baransu o ne totte kureru n desu yo ne

  • ‘Right, the condiment can take a balance in (taste).’

  • 19 H: a:: hee

  •   ‘Oh!!’

Providing knowledge

with authority

(low tone)

Line 16:


KOR: Assessment on taste

시래기 갈비 전골


on taste

Line 758:

Changing style to ~어/아요

JPN: Assessment on taste

  • 4 C: atsui kara yakedo shinai yoo ni ki o tsukete

  • ‘(You should) be careful not to be burned because (it) is hot. 

  • H: hai arigatoo gozaimasu jaa tattamama shitsuree itashimasu

  • dewa dewa

  • ‘Yes, thanks you. I am sorry to eat standing.’

  • 6 doo deshoo oishii: tsubutsubu shokkan ga ii desu ne

  • ‘How would (the taste) be like? (It) is delicious! Its texture is so good.’

  • 7 C: soo desu ne hai

  • ‘That’s right, yes.’

  • 8 H: oishii desu

  • ‘(It) is delicious.’


on taste

Line 8:

Changing style to ~desu

KOR: Assessment on actions

Line 552, 624:

comes with interjection or intensifier

시래기 갈비 전골


on technique/knowledge


JPN: H’s assessment on shape

  • 1 H: jaa donna oryoori ni naru no ka

  • ‘Well, what kind of dish do we cook today?’

  • 2 C: hai

  • 3 H: mazu goranitadakimashoo a::: mitame ga koo ne kireeda shi

  • oishisoo

  • ‘First, let’s take a look. Oh! (Sushi balls) look very nice and look delicious.’

  • 4 C: kuromai to wa itte mo pinku iro deshoo

  • ‘(It) is called black rice, but (it) is actually pink in color.’

  • H: ee soo pinku desu yo ne

  • ‘Yes, that’s right. It is pink.’

comes with


(affect key)


on shape

JPN: C’s assessment on shape

  • 4 H: jaa koo guruguru to koo maki nagara katachi o koo todonoe nagara ne

  • ‘Well, (I am) turning this while making the shape right’

  • 5 C: soo desu ne temarizushi nande ne

  • ‘That’s right. (it) is a ball sushi.’

  • H: nan ka temarizushi to iu ka teruteruboozuzushi mitaina

  • ‘(It) looks like ‘teruteruboozu(fine weather priest) sushi rather than a ball sushi.’

  • C ((laughter))

  • H: katachi ni narimashita ga konna n de ikagadeshoo ka saa

  • ‘(It) became like this. How do you like this?’

  • ((takes off the wrap))

  • C: ((pick it up with chopsticks))hai yoku dekimashita

  • ‘Yes, (you) did a good job.’

  • H: hai arigatoo gozaimasu

  • 11 C: hora kiree

  • ‘Look, it looks nice.’

  • H: hontoo un hee

  • ‘Oh really!’

Line 6~7:

H’s joke/C’s laugher

brings ‘intimacy’


on looks

KOR: Soliloquy remark


H’s soliloquy


JPN: Soliloquy remark

H’s soliloquy


Line 900:

Prefacing interjection

KOR: quoted speech

bare reported




  • summarizing

  • assessment on taste

  • soliloquy remark

  • providing professional

  • knowledge

  • assessment on shape

  • soliloquy remark


on technique or


soliloquy remark prefacing

the interjection like ‘a’

bare quoted



  • Style shifting to plain forms occurs to both chef

  • and host when mainly chef provides professional

  • knowledge while host summarizing in Kor./Jap.

  • Discourse functions of the shifting is closely

  • related to distinctive roles in conversations.

  • Low tone is realized with plain form shifting in both chef’s providing knowledge & host’s summarizing.

Further studies

  • Looking at more episodes in consideration of

  • gender, age differences

Selected references

  • Cook, H.M. (1998). Situational Meanings of Japanese Social Deixis: The Mixed Use of the Masu and Plain Forms, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 8(l), 87-110.

  • Cook, H.M. (2008). Style shifts in Japanese academic consultations. In K. Jones and T. Ono (eds), Style shifting in Japanese. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 9-38.

  • Ikuta, S. (1983). Speech level shift and conversational strategy in Japanese discourse. Language Sciences, 5, 37-53

  • Ikuta, S. (2008). Speech style shift as an interactional discourse strategy: The use and non-use of desu/-masu in Japanese conversational interview. In K. Jones and T. Ono (eds.), Style shifting in Japanese. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 71-90.

  • Iwasaki, S. (2006). The structure of internal state expressions in Japanese and Korean. Japanese/Korean Linguistics, 14, 331-342.

  • Kim, K.-H. (2004). A conversation analysis of Korean sentence-ending modal suffixes –ney, -kwun(a), and – ta:Noticing as a social action. Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea, 12(1), 1-35.

  • Lee, H.S. (1991). Tense, aspect, and modality: A discourse-progmatic analysis of verbal affixes in Korean from a typological perspective. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California.

  • Maynard, S. (1991). Pragmatics of discourse modality: a case of da and desu/masu forms in Japanese. Journal of Pragmatics, 15, 551-582.

  • Maynard, S. (2008). Playing with multiple voices: Emotivity and creativity in Japanese style mixture. In K. Jones and T. Ono (eds.), Style shifting in Japanese. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 91-130.

  • Noh, J. (2008). A usage-based account on the Korean suffix –ta in spoken discourse. Korean Linguistics, 14, 203-222.

  • Strauss, S., Eun, J.O. (2005). Indexicality and honorific speech level choice in Korean. Linguistics, 43(3), 611- 651.