Nominalisation and nouniness as meaning strategies in Japanese political manifestos
Kinuko Suto [+]
Christopher Barnard [+]
In this paper, we attempt to develop the traditional notion of nominalisation by constructing a cline of nominalisation. This cline comprises a range of expressions with various degrees of ‘nouniness’, showing that nominalisation arises when meanings are reconstrued by more nounlike or ‘nounier’ expressions. This cline is particularly useful when we analyse degrees of specificity or negotiability of information presented in texts. We will demonstrate the way to use this cline by analysing the Japanese general election manifestos of 2003 of the then incumbent party (the Liberal Democratic Party; Jimin-too) and the largest opposition party (the Democratic Party of Japan; Minshu-too). We will demonstrate that in these political manifestos a shift towards ‘nounier’ elements and nominalisation are used to construe the opponents’ past/ongoing political failures in contrast with their own party’s future political successes as having low negotiability and given information, as a strategy to implicitly persuade readers of the superiority of the party over other rival parties.