Multiple Correctness, Or Against "Orthography": On The Architecture Of Written Japanese
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Standard written Japanese operates within an architecture of script that distinguishes itself from other major forms of writing in common use today. It is not phonographic nor can it be described as logographic. Instead, the script makes use of three distinct modes of expression that incorporate elements of both phonographic and logographic writing. How does this architecture of writing affect the way texts (literary or not) are produced and consumed within the space of written Japanese? Does this affect, apparent in many written works, constitute an element of a text's "textuality"? This study will approach such questions by first examining how various modes of writing come together on a page, understanding these visual interactions as "visuality." From there, two new concepts, the "invisible phonograph" and "kanjification," are introduced so as to theorize the capabilities contained within this architecture. These two concepts are then briefly surveyed in premodern, modern, and contemporary works.