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Expressing the SelfCultural Diversity and Cognitive Universals$
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Minyao Huang and Kasia M. Jaszczolt

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786658.001.0001

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Expressing the self in Japanese

Expressing the self in Japanese

Indexical expressions in the service of indexical thoughts

(p.72) 5 Expressing the self in Japanese
Expressing the Self

Rodanthi Christofaki

Oxford University Press

Christofaki’s chapter provides an analysis of terms used for first-person reference in Japanese, addressing the question of how de se thought is expressed in a language with a multitude of expressions for self-reference, and in particular what aspects of the self such expressions map to. The analysis shows that in addition to the direct reference account, predicated of first-person pronouns in languages such as English, these terms also convey rich conceptual and expressive content and as such defy the standard Kaplanian (1989) classification. The chapter next moves to a critical assessment of the plausibility of a linguistic relativity account of the self which has been based on these data, and supports a universalist view instead, on which, on the one hand, different aspects (or facets) of the self are distinguished, but on the other they sum up to a cross-culturally comparable self.

Keywords:   first-person reference, Japanese, self-reference, self, de se thought, first-person pronoun, linguistic relativity

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