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ERIC Number: ED422716
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Use of Japanese Honorifics in Daily Life: What the Traditional Theories Do Not Say.
Okushi, Yoshiko
This study investigated how native Japanese speakers use honorifics in everyday social interaction. Honorifics are affixes, words, and formulaic phrases that follow linguistic and sociolinguistic rules and are believed to mark a speaker's politeness toward an addressee or another referenced person. The honorific system is incorporated into most aspects of Japanese grammar. This study examines the validity of traditional theory and previous empirical research on Japanese honorifics by exploring how a Japanese speaker's use of them is related to characteristics of the speech situation. Using ethnographic methods, data were gathered from conversations of four Japanese speakers with various interlocutors in their daily lives. Results indicate that: (1) utterance type is highly influential in determining a speaker's use or non-use of honorifics; and (2) honorifics and used far more in creative and expressive ways (e.g., criticism, sarcasm, playfulness) than traditional theory recognizes. It is concluded that such creative use of honorifics represents an important dimension of Japanese, and that theory not taking this usage into account is therefore incomplete. Contains 12 references. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A