- Gender and sexuality : journal of Center for Gender Studies, ICU (ISSN:18804764)
- vol.4, pp.17-38, 2009-03-31
"Women's language" in fiction has been discussed in terms of its role in constructing or representing gender norms in society and culture. Research in recent years has included a re-examination of this relationship between gender norms and women's language in fiction. However, there has been little focus on the relationship between the fact that certain characters speak in "women's language" and the context surrounding their speech in the narrative structure. This paper examines the meaning and function of one female character's use of women's language in the narrative structure of a Japanese girl's comic called Raifu (Life). From a certain point in the series, the character starts to make extensive use of female-specific sentence endings that are not used in modern-day speech. If we consider the intention behind her speech in context, the use of women's language can be linked to her artful strategy of attacking the heroine. On the other hand, given her marginalized position in the story, her use of women's language identifies an important role that she has come to play in the narrative structure. With regard to the role of women's language here, it could be argued that this is a story that not only depicts solidarity among girls, but also female conflict.