An Honorific Index for Japanese

Georgetown University., 1997 - 295 sider
All natural languages are equipped with mechanisms for expressing various levels of politeness without changing the propositional content of a sentence. Japanese is no exception. What has been traditionally referred to as honorifics in Japanese, however, is more of a grammatical system rather than just a matter of style (Harada 1976, Shibatani 1978). As one of the salient features of the language, Japanese honorifics have drawn the attention of many researchers, but previous studies have mostly focused on the word or sentence level, and none have investigated the overall assessment of a text in terms of Japanese honorifics. The primary goal of this study is to develop a formula for calculating an index which objectively predicts the overall politeness level of a Japanese passage.

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