Decorative English In Japan Cover Image

Decorative English In Japan
Decorative English In Japan

Author(s): Magdalena Ciubăncan
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics
Keywords: English loanwords in Japanese; decorative English; expressive function; linguistic accessory; appropriateness;

Summary/Abstract: The present paper offers an analysis of the so-called ”decorative (or ornamental) English”, as it appears in Japanese advertisements and various announcements. We make a clear distinction between English loanwords, wasei-eigo (‘made-inJapan’ English) and decorative English and we address the question of whether the function of decorative English is to merely accessorize the message or to become a constitutive element of the message itself, with its own particular functions. Instances of ornamental English have been generally considered as having little or no communicative function, but if we examine them closely, we discover a deeper level, where such linguistic forms are interwoven with the other explicit message components – utterances in Japanese or images – creating a network of intra-textual relations, which incorporates the expressive function of these apparently nonsensical expressions.