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Situational meanings and functions of Korean speech styles

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Item Summary

Title: Situational meanings and functions of Korean speech styles
Authors: Yoon, Sangseok
Keywords: Korean
speech styles
Issue Date: Dec 2010
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2010]
Abstract: This study aims to provide a perspective which allows honorifics to be seen beyond the frame of politeness and/or formality in social structures. Korean school grammar explains honorifics as linguistic forms that reflect relative social positional difference (e.g., K-H. Lee, 2010), and has assumed that social structure and language use have a static relationship. However, in actual conversation, the use of honorific styles is more dynamic and people strategically make use of honorific forms to regulate their interpersonal relationships, not always passively following social conventions.
From the view of indexicality (e.g., Cook 1999a, 2008; Ochs 1990, 1993; Silverstein, 1976), which concerns how to relate linguistic form to social meanings in a given context, this study examines what each speech style means socially within given conversational contexts. This study explores speech style variation in four genres of television programs: news, debates, talk shows, and comedy shows. The occasions when speech style shifting occurs in the flow of a conversation will be identified and the situational meanings of the style shift will be discussed.
This study argues that the choice of a speech style is not simply bound by social status difference. This study shows that the deferential and the plain style are noninteractional styles, while the polite and the intimate styles are interactional styles. It also shows that the deferential and the polite style express psychological distance from the addressee(s), while the intimate and the plain style express psychological closeness.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - East Asian Languages and Literatures (Korean)

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