Updated on 2022/12/08


Scopus Paper Info  
Paper Count: 0  Citation Count: 0  h-index: 3

Citation count denotes the number of citations in papers published for a particular year.

Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences, School of Education
Job title

Concurrent Post

  • Faculty of International Research and Education   Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies

  • Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences   Graduate School of Education


  • Germany   PhD

Research Experience

  • 2005

    Researcher, German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo

  • 2002

    Lecturer, Duisburg-Essen University, Germany


Research Areas

  • Linguistics

Research Interests

  • Sociolinguistics


  • “Harry you must stop living in the Past:” Names as acts of recall in John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom

    Names   68 ( 4 ) 210 - 221  2020.09  [Refereed]

  • 'You don't mind my calling you Harry?' Terms of address in John Updike's Rabbit tetralogy

    Literary Linguistics   9 ( 4 ) 1 - 28  2020.08  [Refereed]

  • Reclaiming agency in resident–staff interaction: A case study from a Japanese eldercare facility

    Peter Backhaus

    Discourse Studies   20 ( 2 ) 205 - 220  2018.04  [Refereed]

     View Summary

    This article examines the problem of agency in resident–staff interaction in a Japanese eldercare facility. Data were collected during the morning care routines and analysed within the framework of Conversation Analysis. Focusing on the openings and closings, I show that the interactions in the setting under observation are marked by a clear dominance of the care workers. This becomes most obvious at the level of the turn-taking system, where the first pair part of a new sequence is commonly delivered by a care worker, thus assigning a mainly reactive role to the residents. However, the data also contain instances where this pattern is broken up by a reversal of the turn structure. I show how this sequential re-organisation enables a resident to take a more proactive role in determining the relevant next action, arguing that there is much potential for higher resident agency even in routine interactions such as the morning care activities. I also discuss the practical implications of these findings for care communication in general.



  • Attention, please! A linguistic soundscape/landscape analysis of ELF information provision in public transport in Tokyo

    Backhaus, Peter

    Exploring ELF in Japanese Academic and Business Contexts: Conceptualization, Research and Pedagogic Implications     194 - 209  2015

  • You’ve got sp@m: A textual analysis of unsolicited Japanese dating invitation mails

    Contemporary Japan   25 ( 1 ) 1 - 16  2013  [Refereed]

  • Multilingualism in Japanese public space - reading the signs

    Peter Backhaus

    Japanese Studies   30 ( 3 ) 359 - 372  2010.12  [Refereed]  [Invited]

     View Summary

    This paper looks at multilingual signs and what these signs have to tell us about multilingualism in Japan in general. Working with a larger sample of signs collected in central Tokyo, it is shown how these signs can be read to reflect larger transformations in Japanese society and its linguistic make-up at large. Four interrelated factors are identified as indicative of these transformations: (1) favourable attitudes toward foreign languages, (2) official internationalization policies, (3) growing ethnicisation in some areas, and (4) a recent interest in Korean culture and language.



  • Time to get up compliance-gaining in a Japanese eldercare facility

    Peter Backhaus

    Journal of Asian Pacific Communication   20 ( 1 ) 69 - 89  2010  [Refereed]

     View Summary

    This paper looks at compliance-gaining interaction in a Japanese elderly care facility from a conversation analytical point of view. Focus is on the various ways compliance is sought for by the caring staff with getting the residents out of bed and starting the daily morning care procedures. Three extracts are discussed in detail. The analysis shows how the residents in all three cases display clear signs of resistance to get up, but finally have to submit to the planned course of actions pursued by the care workers. A closer look at how this is played out in interaction suggests that the residents' compliance is enforced rather than gained. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.



  • 起きる時間—施設介護における承諾獲得


    社会言語科学   13 ( 1 ) 48 - 58  2010  [Refereed]

  • Politeness in institutional elderly care in Japan: A cross-cultural comparison

    Peter Backhaus


     View Summary

    This paper looks at communication between staff and residents in a Japanese elderly care facility. It discusses the role of politeness in this special type of health care setting from a cross-cultural perspective. Starting with a review of previous literature on the topic, some basic characteristics of communication between staff and residents in nursing homes are outlined. The overall conditions that apply in the caring context with regard to linguistic politeness are described on the basis of Brown and Levinson's framework. The main part of the paper presents speech data from a Japanese nursing home, analyzed in direct comparison with data from other cultural contexts. In so doing, an attempt is made to outline some common communicative,features in institutional elderly care. The summarizing discussion focuses on the question of whether the special conditions of institutional elderly care may indeed generate very similar types of communication across different cultural settings.



  • Alphabet ante portas: How English text invades Japanese public space

    Visible Language   41 ( 1 ) 70 - 87  2007  [Refereed]

  • Multilingualism in Tokyo: A look into the linguistic landscape

    BACKHAUS Peter

    International Journal of Multilingualism   3 ( 1 ) 52 - 66  2006  [Refereed]


  • Signs of multilingualism in Tokyo: A diachronic look at the linguistic landscape

    International Journal of the Sociology of Language   175/176   103 - 121  2005  [Refereed]  [Invited]

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Books and Other Publications

  • Care Communication: Making a Home in a Japanese Eldercare Facility

    BACKHAUS, Peter( Part: Sole author)

    Routledge (Taylor & Francis)  2017

  • Communication in Elderly Care: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

    Continuum  2011 ISBN: 9781441112545

  • 日本の言語景観

    庄治博史, F.クルマス

    三元社  2009 ISBN: 9784883031856

  • Linguistic Landscapes: A Comparative Study of Urban Multilingualism in Tokyo

    Multilingual Matters  2007 ISBN: 9781853599460

Research Projects

  • The Language of Japanese Spam Mails


    Project Year :


    BACKHAUS, Peter

  • A Comparative Study of Immigrant Language Situations and Immigrant Language Policies from an International Perspective

  • 教育・ビジネス現場のELF(共通語としての英語)使用実態調査と教育モデルの構築

    科学研究費助成事業(早稲田大学)  科学研究費助成事業(基盤研究(B))

  • The Language of Japanese Spam Mails

    科学研究費助成事業(早稲田大学)  科学研究費助成事業(若手研究(B))

Specific Research

  • 施設介護における職員と入居者間のコミュニケーション


     View Summary

    本プロジェクトは介護施設の現場におけるコミュニケーションを研究する目的で、介護職員と入居者の間の言語行動を考察したものである。使用データは2008年埼玉県東部にある介護老人保健施設の実態調査で収集されたほぼ40時間の録音会話である。研究期間内では、会話データの文字化を終わらせた上、その詳しい分析を進めた。分析は量的及び質的側面を含む。前者としては、入居者の呼ばれ方を量的に分析した結果として,70%で最も頻繁な呼ばれ方は「名字+さん」であることが分かった。「ファーストネーム+さん」で呼ばれる入居者が17%を占め、残り13%は場合によって両方の呼称が可能である。入居者の呼ばれ方を決める要素としては、年齢と性別が挙げられ、特にファーストネームで呼びやすいのは、高年齢の女性である。なお「おばあちゃん」「おじいちゃん」などのような,いわゆる親族名称の虚構的用法は発生しなかった。 質的分析としては、会話モードの切り替えについて考察した。先行研究にも指摘された通り、介護現場において根本的に2つの会話モードが分けられる。1つ目では、会話者の施設的役割が中心となり、「介護者」と「被介護者」であることが職員と入居者の関係を定義している。2つ目は、会話者の施設的役割よりも、個人同士としての関係に焦点が移され、それによって非施設的なコンテクストが構築されようとしている。本会話データにも、両方の役割関係が確認できており、介護中に会話者は、どのような役割でどのような会話モードを選ぶか、詳細に分析した。



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