East Asian Linguistics Workshop: Inclusion and Exclusion in Japanese Food Assessments by Polly Szatrowski

This is an Archive of a Past Event

This paper investigates how Japanese participants’ co-construction of attitudes toward whipped cream at a Dairy Taster Brunch can perform social action. It addresswa the following questions: 1) What triggers talk about whipped cream?, 2)What devices create, monitor, and accept/resist stances towards it?, and 3) How do participants use their language and bodies in assessments to negotiate inclusion, exclusion, and compromise? Building on research on sequential organization and concurrent operations in assessments (Pomerantz 1984, Goodwin & Goodwin 1987), girls’ stance, status, and exclusion (Goodwin 2006, Burdelski & Cekaite 2022), and laughter to create and reinforce food attitudes (Szatrowski 2022), it demonstrates how participants’ verbal and nonverbal sharing (using verbal explanations/ assessments, onomatopoeia, and final particles that request agreement, repetition of verbal explanations/ assessments and gestures, and overlapping laughter) can result in excluding other participant(s). In contrast, participants may exclude themselves by taking different stances, e.g., asserting that another’s stance is incomprehensible, characterizing it negatively, and using final particles that claim epistemic authority. They may also partially agree and mirror gestures and laughter to reach a compromise. Results contribute to research on the linguistics of food by showing how a Dairy Taster Lunch can be an arena for multimodal negotiation of inclusion, exclusion, and compromise through the moment-by-moment development of assessments in talk-in-interaction.


East Asian Linguisticis

About the Speaker

Polly Szatrowski is Professor of Japanese Language and Linguistics in the Institute of Linguistics at the University of Minnesota. She has two PhDs, one from Cornell University and the other from University of Tsukuba, Japan. Her research focuses on conversation/discourse analysis, Japanese linguistics, language and food, sociolinguistics, and emergent grammar. She is also a convenor for the International Research Network on the Linguistics of Food (LOF ReN) which she co-founded in 2017. Her publications include the book Nihongo no danwa no koozoo bunseki- Kanyuu no danwa no sutoratezii no koosatu (Structure of Japanese conversation- Invitation strategies) (1993), ficw edited volumes: Hidden and open conflict in Japanese conversational interaction (2004), Storytelling across Japanese conversational genre (2010), Language and food: Verbal and nonverbal experiences (2014), and Gokan de tanosimu syoku no nihongo (The Japanese language of food: Enjoyment with the five senses) (2023), and other research papers. Her research has been funded by four US Fulbright-Hays Research Grants, a Monbusho Fellowship, Japan Foundation Fellowship, and Hakuho Foundation Japanese Language Research Fellowship.