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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: “She thinks you’re kawaii”: Socializing affect, gender, and relationships in a Japanese preschool
Author: Matthew Burdelski
Author: Koji Mitsuhashi
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: Kawaii, an adjective meaning ‘cute’, ‘adorable’, and ‘lovable’, is an important aspect of Japanese material culture and a key affect word used to describe things that are small, delicate, and immature. While “cuteness” has been widely discussed in relation to Japanese society and psychology and the globalization of Japanese culture, there has been little analysis of the word kawaii in interaction. This article explores the use of kawaii in interaction in a Japanese preschool. In particular, it analyzes ways teachers use multimodal resources, including talk, embodied actions, material objects, and participation frameworks, in making assessments of things in the social world and in “glossing” children’s actions as thoughts and feelings, and it examines children’s emerging use of kawaii with teachers and peers. The findings shed light on ways everyday communicative practices shape children’s understandings and use of language in relation to affect, gender, and relationships in preschool.


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 39, Issue 1.

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