Solidarity and power are two components of the semantic model proposed by Brown and Gilman (1960) which are said to play a significant role in human communication. Speech strategies expressing solidarity occur between speech participants of equal status, whereas strategies expressing power are found between participants of different statuses. The interaction between language and solidarity/power has been examined further in American English (Brown and Ford 1961/64, Ervin-Tripp 1972), French and Spanish (Lampert and Tucker 1976), and Italian (Bates and Benigni 1975) especially in the area of pronominal reference.
The present paper will examine the interaction between morphosyntax and power semantics in Czech and Japanese. These historically and culturally distant languages have been chosen for analysis for the following reasons:
In other words, Czech and Japanese have well-developed formal and lexical means to report speech participant relationships including solidarity and power.
A comparison of these languages on the basis of political speeches and translations of literary texts with input from native informants will demonstrate the following:
A comparative approach will also enable us to see how frequently-used concepts such as formal/informal and politeness have different pragmatic contents.