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A Contrastive Sociolinguistic Study of Usages of Honorifics in Korean and Japanese: Based on the actual use of honorifics in Korean and Japanese high school students

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2011, 19(1), pp.187-209
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Hong, Min-Pyo 1

1계명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper contrasts different of usages of honorifics in Korean and Japanese based on the actual use of honorifics Japanese and Korean high school students. Based upon such contrast this paper elucidates the following points: First, in case of direct honorifics, the differences of ages or statuses become the first standard to determine the usage of honorifics in Korean. However, in Japanese, in addition to differences of ages or statuses, the degree of closeness/familiarity between the speaker and the listener is an important determinant. Therefore, Korean children use honorific to their parents in Korea, while Japanese children don't. Second, in case of indirect honorifics, it is widely believed that Koreans use honorific by the rule of unconditional honorific and Japaneses use it by the rule of conditional honorific. However, various factors such as the degree of familiarity or closeness between the speaker and the listener, etc. influence the usage of indirect honorifics in Korean. Therefore, the rule of honorifics for Korean and Japaneses languages is quite ambiguous. Third, in Korean honorifics, we can find conditional honorific which is also called as restrained honorific. However, it is generally not used except for in a hierarchical society such as the military.

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