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Korean honorific speech style shift : intra-speaker variables and context

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Item Summary

Title: Korean honorific speech style shift : intra-speaker variables and context
Authors: Chang, Sumi
Keywords: Korean
Issue Date: May 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
Abstract: This study examines the speech level variation in Korean honorific sentence endings. Native speakers frequently alternate between honorific speech levels encoded as sentence ending even within a single turn of talk with no change in external variables. Broadly situated within the notion of indexicality, I investigate both the interlocutor inherent variables and the context of the situation. A qualitative scrutiny of linguistic interaction is performed alongside a quantitative analysis of speaker inherent variables of age, profession, gender, and hometown.
The data comes from an institutional setting of formal television talk show interviews, and the use of three honorific sentence endings are investigated:--pnita,--a/eyo, and a sub-group of--a/eyo or the formerly connectives that has grammaticalized into sentence endings. In exploring 40 hours of the institutional dialogical interview activity, age did not show significant effect on the sentence ending use. Profession however, had a significant effect. Gender and hometown variables both had marginally significant effects on the sentence endings.
With the effect of speaker profession in mind, Korean speakers' linguistic practices are examined using the basic tenet of Indexicality Principle (Ochs, 1993a,1996). I illustrate how interlocutors shift honorific speech styles to realize the conceptualization of epistemic and affective stance, and then indirectly index expert and individual identity. Such indexing is done not only for the speaker himself but also for a referent. I posit that speaker' choice of linguistic honorific form is not confined to the parameters of one's inherent variables but is determined based on speaker's given situation and intention.
The study demonstrates the intricate and complex aspects of authentic honorifics usage in which the speaker becomes an active agent in indexing one's stance and identity. In doing so, interlocutors are capable of overcoming the statistically significant intra-speaker effect of profession. By adopting the sentence ending of their choice, speakers index stance and identity of their intent. The analyses also indicate that the shift between different honorific endings is fluid and context-sensitive. The study aims to contribute to the growing body of research on and more comprehensive understanding of the dynamic Korean honorific speech levels.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - East Asian Languages and Literatures (Korean)

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