Korean subject honorifics: An experimental study

Miseon Lee, Sorin Huh, William O'Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper seeks to shed light on the factors that contribute to the use of the Korean subject honorific -(u)si—a long-standing issue in the study of pragmatics and politeness in that language. We tested two groups of Korean speakers (younger versus older adults) on two patterns of honorification–(a) the classic pattern in which the referent of the subject outranks both the speaker and the hearer, and (b) the split pattern in which the referent of the subject outranks the speaker but not the hearer. In an online acceptability judgment task, younger participants (n = 40) showed a strong and quick preference for the use of -(u)si in the classic pattern, but manifested uncertainty in the split pattern. In contrast, older participants (n = 40) showed a significant preference for -(u)si in both the split pattern and the classic pattern when the referent of the subject outranks the speaker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-71
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume117
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017 Aug 1

Fingerprint

politeness
pragmatics
uncertainty
language
Experimental Study
Honorifics
Uncertainty
Group
Split
Referent
Hearer
Language
Politeness
Acceptability Judgments

Keywords

  • Acceptability judgment task
  • Generational difference
  • Korean subject honorifics
  • apconpep

Cite this

Lee, Miseon ; Huh, Sorin ; O'Grady, William. / Korean subject honorifics : An experimental study. In: Journal of Pragmatics. 2017 ; Vol. 117. pp. 58-71.
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Korean subject honorifics : An experimental study. / Lee, Miseon; Huh, Sorin; O'Grady, William.

In: Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 117, 01.08.2017, p. 58-71.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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