On change of the terms of address between couples during the 70 years of post-colonization as reflected in mass media
This study aims at tracing the change of use patterns of the terms of address between couples in the course of the past seventy years. Historical sources reveal that the terms that were used from before the liberation from colonization in 1945 are yeonggam, manwula and imja. The terms of current use other than these three emerged and were popularized in the post-colonial period, and seem to have been profoundly affected by the fast change in the family system and the societal roles of women. The bi-directional terms of address that emerged in the post-colonial period are imja, yeobo and jagi; the husband-directed terms are yeonggam, X-appa (or X-abeoji), appa and oppa; and the wife-directed terms are manwula and X-eomma, in which ‘X’ signifies the name of a child. An analysis of the lexicalization patterns involved in creation of terms of address can be classified into three categories: person trope, transposed reference, and reification. The development of address terms exhibits a tension along the two major competing forces, i.e. power and solidarity. For instance, in the contemporary society, the address terms that were based on the notion of power in the traditional society, e.g. imja, yeonggam and manwula, all lost their currency. Also disappeared are yeobwayo, ibwayo, yeobwa, and ibwa, all blunt terms employed in calling the spouse to gain attention by directly giving an imperative of looking, i.e., bwa- ‘look’. The only surviving address term of this kind is the bi-directional yeobo, the use of which signals intimacy based on the notion of close distance in the term. In accordance with the societal change in the family system, i.e., from the extended to the nuclear family, the terms of address that were widely used in formal settings reflecting the then-dominant extended family system, such as X-halabeji, X-halmeoni, X-eomeoni, and X-abeoji also fell into disuse. The terms that came in to fill in the gap are: jagi in an intimate relationship, a term created through person trope; X-appa and X-eomma in more formal settings; oppa, created through transposed reference; and the addressee’s personal name, the use of which reflects spreading egalitarianism in the modern Korean society.