Language Grammar

Politeness In Historical and Contemporary Chinese: A by Yuling Pan

By Yuling Pan

Takes a comparative, diachronic point of view on chinese language politeness and its evolution as much as the current day, linking diachronic and synchronic approaches.>

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The Myth of Chinese Politeness 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 35 See more in Kádár (2005). org/wiki/May_you_live_in_interesting_times> Note that in Brown and Levinson’s theory the terms ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ do not carry any value judgement. Along with East Asian data, an important criticism of the Brown and Levinsonian concept was made by using African (Igbo) data, cf. Nwoye’s (1992) study. It should be noted though that there is no general agreement among scholars who would define themselves as ‘discursive’ on the applicability of the first-order versus second-order distinction, even though scholars agree about the importance of focusing on lay notions.

Cantonese is also a predominant form of Chinese in overseas Chinese communities because most of the early Chinese immigrants came from Cantonese-speaking regions (Yung, 1999; Wang, 2007). The intra-language variety in the data gives us a unique opportunity to examine the function of code-switching (between Mandarin and Cantonese) in Mainland Chinese politeness practice and to observe the role of dialect-specific particles in expressing politeness. In addition, the examination of data in two dialects provides a more comprehensive picture of Chinese politeness practice per se.

G. it applied a monosyllabic lexicon in contrast with the colloquial polysyllabic one), while the vernacular imitated spoken style and thus was closer to colloquial. 35 The present study relies on two major genre types that represent these disglossic styles: letters and vernacular novels. Letters constitute the primary The Myth of Chinese Politeness 27 corpus due to different reasons. First, in traditional Chinese culture letter writing is typically considered an ‘applied’ (yingyong ᔈҔ) or ‘pragmatic’ genre, which primarily serves the conveyance of information.

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