Politeness Level Indicating the Acting Person in Japanese


  • Laszlo Szabo University of New Brunswick


Japanese verbs do not have any person-number suffixes. They have words for "I", "you", "he", etc., but use them very seldom. How do they know, anyway, who is the acting person in a sentence? Besides the context, there are several devices to make this unmistakably clear. One of these devices will be studied in this paper, namely: the politeness level. Many superpolite verbs distinguish clearly whether I or somebody else is acting. They use different nouns for "my wife” and "your wife" without adding the devices for "my" or "your".



How to Cite

Szabo, L. (1990). Politeness Level Indicating the Acting Person in Japanese. Papers from the Annual Meetings of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association (PAMAPLA) ACTES DES COLLOQUES ANNUELS DE L’ASSOCIATION DE LINGUISTIQUE DES PROVINCES ATLANTIQUES (ACAALPA)., 13, 123–128. Retrieved from https://conferences.lib.unb.ca/index.php/pamapla/article/view/399

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