English Use in Japanese Variety Television Shows : Focus on Telop

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Title: English Use in Japanese Variety Television Shows : Focus on Telop
Author: Kawakami, Airi
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202010274330
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Englannin kielen ja kirjallisuuden maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in English Studies
Magisterprogrammet i engelska språket och litteraturen
Specialisation: ei opintosuuntaa
no specialization
ingen studieinriktning
Abstract: Multi-functional superimposed subtitles called telop are a defining feature of Japanese television programs today. Telops are used to show titles of segments, speaker’s utterances and explanations about situations. In recent years, English telops have been increasingly used although English use as a means of daily communication is limited in the Japanese society. This study examines how English is used in Japanese television programs, focusing on telops. The focus of this research is on a prominent genre of Japanese television shows, variety shows, which often feature comedians and incorporate various entertainment elements. Previously, both English use in Japanese contexts and telops have been studied, but not many studies have focused on English-language telops in Japanese television shows. Therefore, this study investigates English telops, adopting methodologies used in previous research. This study has two aims. The first is to investigate what kind of functional roles English telops play in Japanese television shows. The second is to elucidate how English telops index social functions, such as competence or being (un)cool. This thesis adopted an analytical approach by Maree (2015a) and Furukawa (2014): multimodal analysis in sociolinguistics (sociocultural linguistics) approach. The study used television program data, which broadcasted in 2019 and amounts to 36 hours in total. The total number of English telops extracted from this video data was 2062 and these telops were classified based on three types of categorical frameworks: typology of telop, typology of code-switching and typology of social functions. The results show that English telops have various functional roles and social functions. The result of categorizing based on the typology of telop reveals that English telops were frequently used for situational explanation, speaker’s utterances and titles. In terms of the typology of code-switching, the result shows that English telops were rarely used to describe a code-switching in conversation. Rather, English telops appeared to be used for headlines, mottos or proper nouns. As for the typology of social functions, several functions that were suggested in previous research were found in this research as well. In addition, new social functions such as sexy and hyperactive were also discovered. In conclusion, this research suggests additions to the typological frameworks for English telops but also points out there is still room to develop them. This research provides new insights into English use in Japanese communication and non-English speaking cultures. Furthermore, this research can also contribute to further research on telops and Japanese media communication.
Subject: sociolinguistics
multimodal analysis
Japanese communication
variety shows
English as a local language

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