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Metapragmatics of Attentiveness

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This book examines attentiveness, which is briefly defined as a demonstrator’s pre-emptive responses to a recipient’s verbal or non-verbal cues or situations surrounding a recipient and a demonstrator, which takes the form of offering. It elucidates what attentiveness is, and addresses the importance of attentiveness in im/politeness research. It also suggests the importance of taking an interdisciplinary perspective in im/politeness research, the importance of non-linguistically manifested politeness and the heart perspective.

Evaluation by a recipient of attentiveness is considered since recent research suggests that im/politeness resides in evaluation. Thus, both demonstration and evaluation of attentiveness are investigated in the book. Attentiveness may be demonstrated or evaluated differently within different cultures. Generation can be considered as one of the sub-groups of culture. Therefore, cross-cultural and cross-generational comparisons on demonstration and evaluation of attentiveness are included.

Although some differences in demonstration or evaluation of attentiveness are found cross-culturally, similarities outweigh differences. This suggests that attentiveness, which is thought to be a virtue in Japanese culture, is not unique to Japanese culture, and that attentiveness is an important interpersonal notion elsewhere, too. It is also shown that attentiveness is one of the constituents of politeness, which indicates that attentiveness is closely related to politeness.

Published: Feb 20, 2020


Section Chapter Authors
List of figures and tables Saeko Fukushima
Foreword Dániel Kádár
Acknowledgments Saeko Fukushima
Chapter 1
Introduction Saeko Fukushima
Chapter 2
What is Attentiveness? Saeko Fukushima
Chapter 3
Cross-cultural and Cross-generational Comparisons of Attentiveness Saeko Fukushima
Chapter 4
Attentiveness in Japanese Relational Networks Saeko Fukushima
Chapter 5
Conclusion Saeko Fukushima
Transcription Conventions Saeko Fukushima
End Matter
Notes Saeko Fukushima
References Saeko Fukushima
Index Saeko Fukushima


The topics studied are not only relevant to academics and advanced students working on Japanese, but practically to any reader who has interest in pragmatics and the Japanese lingua-culture, due to the explanatory power of Fukushima’s work. So, if the Reader is prepared for an academic tour de force and the exploration of a fascinating lingua-culture provided by an outstanding expert of the field, reading the present volume is a must.
From the Foreword by Dániel Z. Kádár, Dalian University of Foreign Languages, China and Hungarian Academy of Sciences