Comprehension of indirect opinions and refusals in L2 Japanese

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

20 Scopus citations


This cross-sectional study examined the inferential ability to comprehend indirect speakers' intentions in Japanese as a foreign language. Eighty-four college students who were learning Japanese at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels completed a computerized listening test that measured their ability to comprehend three types of indirect meaning: indirect refusals, conventional indirect opinions, and non-conventional indirect opinions. Each item had a short dialogue with a reply at the end did not provide a direct answer to the question. Results showed that refusal items were the easiest to comprehend, followed by conventional and nonconventional indirect opinion items. Advanced and intermediate students scored significantly higher than the beginner-level students. Follow-up interviews revealed the reasons for difficulty for less proficient students (e.g., limited linguistic and cultural knowledge).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPragmatic Competence
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783110218558
ISBN (Print)9783110218541
StatePublished - Sep 4 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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