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This chapter examines friendship terms (e.g. phile, beltiste, daimonie) in Plato in the light of Brown and Levinson’s face-threat theory of politeness. It argues that every friendship term in Plato is polite redress for a specific face-threatening act, and aims to explain not only their general significance but also why they occur exactly when they do. The chapter examines Phaedrus in detail in order to show how friendship terms are associated with particular face-threatening acts, and supports the argument with a selection of passages from other dialogues. About 240 out of the 457 friendship terms in the corpus are either discussed in detail or explicitly linked to a specific face-threatening act, and the remaining examples should be readily intelligible in the light of this. Friendship terms are formally polite, in keeping with Socrates’ persona as represented in the dialogues, but also serve to emphasize face-threatening acts such as criticism and refutation. It is notable that there are no friendship terms in dialogues, or sections of dialogues, where overt face threat is avoided (e.g. the conversation with Gorgias in Gorgias).
In the early modern English period, the distinction between the two pronominal terms of address for a single addressee, ye and thou, still existed but it was showing the first signs of decline. William Shakespeare did not use the case forms consistently, and the pragmatics of his system differs considerably from the situation in Middle English. The chapter shows how the pronominal and the nominal terms of address interact in the works by Shakespeare and in particular in Romeo and Juliet. In contrast to the situation in Middle English, the choice of ye or thou cannot always be accounted for on a turn-by-turn basis. Shakespeare’s use has to be described on a more global level for different dyads of speakers. The use of thou increasingly shows a high level of emotionality, which may ultimately have led to its demise and the present-day English system with only you as a pronominal term of address.
This chapter investigates the use of nominal and pronominal terms of address in Middle English. Under the influence of French, Middle English adopted the distinction between two different pronouns of address for a single addressee: ye and thou. The chapter presents detailed case studies of selected tales of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (the Wife of Bath’s Tale, the Miller’s Tale and the Friar’s Tale) and of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The characters in these sources are shown to use a complex system that is highly responsive to their interactional status, including not only their social relationships but also temporary shifts of conversational power within an interaction. Nominal terms of address are shown to be equally sensitive interpersonal devices that reflect the interactive behaviour between the characters and their social class distinctions.
Chapter 9 discusses the relationship between language and society. We describe five areas of sociolinguistic variation: regional (dialects), speech style, honorifics, terms of address, and language policy. Six major regional dialects are described in terms of lexicon, phonology, and morphosyntax: four of South Korea and two of North Korea. We introduce four different speech styles and their usage, together with two now archaic forms. The honorific system is one of the unique features of Korean. We discuss the three basic patterns of honorification, involving the relationship between the speaker, hearer, and referent. We also introduce two patterns that stand aside from the canonical honorific patterns: Apjonpop and indirect honorifics. ‘Terms of address’ refers to how the addressee in a context of social communication is designated. Term of address choice can be extremely complicated. We illustrate second pronouns, titles with proper names, and kinship terms. Finally, we present four major issues that have been the focus of language policy in the Koreas: use of Hangul, language standardization, general language policy, and romanization.
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