Author Topic: Is there such a thing as a "politive" suffix?  (Read 2391 times)

Offline zaba

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Is there such a thing as a "politive" suffix?
« on: June 10, 2014, 10:35:38 PM »
that is, a suffix to make an expression more polite? or is this a word which is something only I made up or know?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there such a thing as a "politive" suffix?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 08:55:00 AM »
There are "honorifics" in Japanese and Korean. Sometimes they're suffixes or different declension patterns depending on social context.

https://www.google.com/search?q=suffixal+honorific
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Offline zaba

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Re: Is there such a thing as a "politive" suffix?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 06:06:50 AM »
sure, but honorifics are different from "politive" at least in theory...

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there such a thing as a "politive" suffix?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 02:18:50 PM »
Why? You'd need to explain what "politive" is :)

And that's really what honorifics are about: due to communicative context replacing one grammatical form with another to emphasize polite communication. There may be some variation, of course, but it seems like certainly a generally relevant phenomenon.

Note that in Pragmatic theory there is a lot of discussion of (im)politeness (often written in that specific form) and it would give you an idea of where to start with your analysis of what meaning/usage exists in the language for the "politive" as you call it. And you might find some examples of suffixes in that research, but I don't know.
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Offline MalFet

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Re: Is there such a thing as a "politive" suffix?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 09:19:28 PM »
sure, but honorifics are different from "politive" at least in theory...

In theory, there's no difference between anything and anything else. ;)

If your language makes a meaningful contrast between what you want to call honorifics and what you want to call the politive, *then* you've got a difference. Morphology doesn't make precise and nuanced distinctions between these things because, ultimately, semantics resists typology.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there such a thing as a "politive" suffix?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 12:35:38 PM »
Schachter and Shopen (p.59) have the following to say:
Quote
The last closed parts-of-speech class to be discussed is the class of politeness markers. These are words which are added to sentences to express a deferential attitude toward the person addressed. In Tagalog, for example, there are two politeness markers, po and ho, either of which may be added to any sentence the speaker wishes to render polite. (Po is more polite than ho; to borrow the terminology of Kuno (1973), po may be called ‘superpolite’.) In some other languages, such as Japanese, the expression of politeness involves, instead of markers, a special polite vocabulary: for exam- ple ee ‘yes (polite)’, hai ‘yes (superpolite)’ vs un ‘yes (informal)’; boku ‘I (polite or informal)’, watakusi ‘I (polite or superpolite)’ vs ore ‘I (informal)’. (Japanese also has a special polite affix, -mas-, which is added to a verb in polite speech: e.g. ake-mas-u (open-polite-present) ‘open (polite)’ vs ake-ru (open-present) ‘open (informal)’.) The use of special polite forms for ‘you’ is particularly common: for example Spanish usted ‘you (polite-singular)’, ustedes ‘you (polite-plural)’ vs tu ́ ‘you (informal-singular)’, vosotros ‘you (informal-plural)’.
Schachter, Paul & Timothy Shopen. 2007. Part-of-speech systems. In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description, vol. 1, 1–60. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


I don't see why, based on that sort of broad description, we would not expect some languages to have affixes rather than independent words.



Edit: The Kuno reference is:
Kuno, Susumu. 1973. The Structure of the Japanese Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 12:39:15 PM by djr33 »
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