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The Semantics and Pragmatics of Honorification – Register and Social Meaning - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Semantics and Pragmatics of Honorification: Register and Social Meaning

Elin McCready


This book provides an approach to the semantics and pragmatics of honorifics and expressions with honorific import, treating them as carrying expressive content which contributes either directly or indirectly to a register corresponding to the current formality of the speech situation. This system is given empirical application to a wide range of honorific expressions including utterance and argument honorifics in Japanese, Thai and several other languages, and it is proposed that languages use distinct strategies for honorification which has implications for the grammaticality of certain comb ... More

Keywords: Honorification, honorifics, semantics, pragmatics, expressive content, social meaning, register, social reality, Japanese, Thai

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198821366
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198821366.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Elin McCready, author
Professor of Linguistics, Aoyama Gakuin University