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Title: The system of honorifics in the Korean language
Authors: Wong, Kit Ying (王潔盈)
Department: Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Issue Date: 2011
Course: CTL4235 Project
Programme: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Linguistics and Language Technology
Instructor: Dr. Oh, Sunyoung
Subjects: Korean language -- Honorific.
Citation: Wong, K. Y. (2011). The system of honorifics in the Korean language (Outstanding Academic Papers by Students (OAPS)). Retrieved from City University of Hong Kong, CityU Institutional Repository.
Abstract: The honorifics system in Korean language is complex and richly textured. This paper examines the grammatical function as well as discourse use of the honorific system of Korean. In Korean, the system of honorifics is undoubtedly of an important role compared with the western languages. Unlike Chinese, the honorific system in Korean does not only appear in writing but also appears in daily communication for addressing seniority or social ranks. The reason for the wide spread of honorification in Korean is based on the hierarchical culture in Korea that one should respect for people who are older, even for only a few months. In this paper, I will discuss the system of honorifics in the Korean language from words to sentences and explain the usage with various examples. First, I will look at the honorific system on lexical level and indicate the reasons for honorification; second, I will point out the verbal inflection and special parts that involve subject and object honorification; third, I will talk about the honorific system on difference speech level by using sentence enders; and lastly, I will discuss how honorification acts in real situation by using an honorific discourses analysis. The system of honorifics has always been one of the difficulties which foreign learners of Korean would encounter. I hope that this paper would help people to understand the honorific system better and overcome the difficulty.
Appears in Collections:OAPS - Dept. of Linguistics and Translation

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