|Abstract: ||In comparison to adult-adult interaction, in adult-child interaction it is not unusual for participants to directly say “no” in highly emotive manners (Goodwin et al. 2012). Using the methodological frameworks of conversation analysis, this study examines Japanese children’s use of two kinds of objection tokens, iya and dame, in their conversations with caregivers and/or siblings. Through microanalysis of social actions and sequential contexts in which these tokens occur, this study aims to demonstrate how each of these tokens serves to display children’s distinct affective and moral stances (Goodwin 2007) by which participants organize, negotiate, and co- construct social actions and local identities emerging in the ongoing interaction. By so doing, this study contributes to the understanding of the dynamic nature and interactive process of language socialization in displaying and negotiating affect in Japanese (e.g., Burdelski, 2010; Clancy, 1999; Takada, 2013).
In adult-child interaction, adults typically use iya, which literally means “loathe,” “unpleasant” or “dislike” as an expression of lack of willingness (Clancy, 1986). On the other hand, they often utilize dame, whose literal meanings are “futile,” “forbidden” or “no good” in order to restrain children from doing certain behaviors
that are against rules or morals. In other words, iya is an emotion-oriented objection token, whereas dame a moral-oriented one.
In our data, both iya and dame occur in the middle of negotiation sequences between a child and a caregiver as to the form of activity (e.g., where to play, what to do, whom to play with, etc.). Although both tokens display the child’s resistance to the caregiver’s directive, iya is particularly used when the caregiver suggests an alternative option in the linguistic form of invitation or proposal (“let’s do...” or “why don’t you/I do...?”), while dame is produced when a caregiver asks for approval (“Is it all right?”). These cases reveal that the children have competence to choose the objection tokens in a way sensitive to the design of their interlocutors’ preceding utterance. Moreover, while the children’s resistance frequently mobilizes the caregivers’ acceptance or compromise, there are also cases in which a child uses these tokens in more tactic stance negotiation such as displaying reluctant acceptance of or upgrading resistance to a caregiver’s directive.
Another distinct context in which dame is specifically utilized is when a child tries to stop his/her younger sibling doing a certain action, which conveys the child’s “elder” and “authoritative” position toward the younger sibling. In such cases, the subsequent caregiver’s reaction also shows his/her orientation to the dame-producing child’s identity as an elder sibling.
Finally, the study examines an interaction between a mother and three siblings in which the children recurrently and distinctively use iya and dame according to their local identities relative to who is the addressed interlocutor at the moment.
Based on these findings, this study claims that Japanese children are socialized to display different refusal/objection stances in association with ongoing social
actions and situated local identities by using emotion-oriented and moral-oriented objection tokens.