Sounding like a father: The influence of regional dialect on perceptions of masculinity and fatherhood

Sara King, Yi Ren, Kaori Idemaru, Cindi Sturtzsreetharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous work on the Osaka dialect (OD) collectively suggests that this western regional variant of Japanese is associated with informality, masculinity, and affective fatherhood-social meanings that can be recruited in the construction of audio-visual media personas. This study examines the use of OD by one protagonist in the film Soshite chichi ni naru/Like father, like son, as well as the social meanings that listeners attribute to this variety of Japanese. Specifically, we ask two questions: (i) to what extent is the production of OD in the film recognizable to native speakers of Japanese, and (ii) what qualities do Japanese language users attribute to OD? A dialect recognition experiment found low recognizability of OD but high recognizability of a general 'nonstandard Japanese' language variety. Qualitative data revealed that Japanese language users perceived OD to index various characteristics including that of a masculine, affective father. (Perception, dialect, fatherhood, Osaka dialect, indexicality)∗

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-308
Number of pages24
JournalLanguage in Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 9 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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