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Nam Center Colloquium Series | Social Meanings of Korean Honorifics Beyond Politeness Markers

Sang-Seok Yoon, Assistant Professor in Korean Linguistics, University of Iowa
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
4:00-5:30 PM
Room 1010 Weiser Hall Map
Please note: This session is planned to be held both in-person and virtually EST through Zoom. This webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Once you've registered, the joining information will be sent to your email.

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The traditional understanding of honorifics has often regarded them as linguistic forms reflecting relative social-positional differences, assuming a direct one-to-one relationship between social structure and language use. As implied by the term, the conventional understanding of honorifics has been associated with 'respect' and 'formality'. However, recent studies on honorifics suggest that speakers of languages with an honorific system do not merely choose honorifics passively based on social norms; instead, they actively and strategically select honorific forms to meet the demands of a given context. Consequently, people often shift speech styles in the same context and may even use non-honorific styles when addressing socially higher individuals. In this presentation, I will exemplify the use of honorifics that goes against general perceptions, exploring various social meanings and functions of Korean honorifics.

Sang-Seok Yoon is an Assistant Professor of Korean Linguistics in the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Iowa. The primary focus of his research encompasses sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and second language acquisition. He specializes in the linguistic politeness of the Korean language and is recognized as one of the authors of the Integrated Korean Textbook series published by the University of Hawaii Press, which stands as the most widely used Korean textbook in the U.S.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Korea
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Nam Center for Korean Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures