Term

Summer 8-15-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Andreas Schramm

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Anne DeMuth

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Sawyer Blur

Abstract

The research question addressed is, do sociolinguistic variables influence the use of rendaku among native speakers of Japanese? The motivating factor for this capstone was that rendaku use seems to be inconsistent. This capstone records the rendaku use of twelve native Japanese speakers in semistructured interviews to examine if aspects of their sociolinguistic backgrounds correlate with rendaku use. Key influences for this capstone were the writer’s own experience with rendaku as a Japanese learner in Japan and his professor who recognized the potential for rendaku to be studied through the prism of sociolinguistics. The research was done using semi-structured interviews and a quantitative research paradigm in order to present descriptive statistics. The study concludes that there was almost no difference in the form of rendaku used but some variation in the rate it was used regarding the participants’ sociolinguistic factors of sex, age, home region, or the formality of the discourse.

Research Methodology

Interview

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