Honorification in Dzongkha

Watters, Stephen (2021) Honorification in Dzongkha. In: Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y., Dixon, R.M.W., and Jarkey, Nerida, (eds.) The Integration of Language and Society: a cross-linguistic typology. Explorations in Linguistic Typology . Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA, pp. 91-109.

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Language and society are integrated and mutually supportive of one another in more than non-trivial ways. The two are not only reflective of one another, but mutually reinforce one another. The linguistic parameter of honorification in Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan, exemplifies this integration and will be the focus of this chapter. Honorification, as it will be used here, involves the marking of social status, respect, or deference between interlocutors in conversation(Agha 1994:277), as well as toward the referents of clausal arguments (Shibatani 2001). Honorific language is a vital cultural tool in expressing politeness and etiquette in Bhutanese society. The relationship between language and society with regard to honorification is overt in Bhutaneses society. Much of honorific usage in formal settings reinforces notions of social hierarchies through politeness behavior toward those of relatively higher social standing. However, the chapter will show that politeness is also a feature of conversation among social equals, particularly in the use of honorifics to mitigate the perception that the speaker is imposing on the interlocutor. it will also be shown that the honorification of nouns draws on the Tibetic system which has been shown by DeLancey (1998) to have a classificatory function based on cultural and social values.

Item ID: 71047
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-19-284592-4
Keywords: Dzongkha, Honorification, integration of language and society, Relations within a community, social hierarchies, kinship categorization, social constraints
Copyright Information: © The chapters their several authors 2021. © Stephen Watters 2021.
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 04:22
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470409 Linguistic structures (incl. phonology, morphology and syntax) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280116 Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture @ 100%
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