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Korean politeness levels ( wasRe: Tonal Languages taken to extremes)

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Thursday, September 27, 2001, 22:43
On Thursday, September 27, 2001, at 03:26 PM, laokou wrote:

> From: "Yoon Ha Lee" > >> annyeong (I hope no one's offended by the informal mode) >> hasta luego >> sayonara > > For me, "sayonara" is really a "good-BYE". You say this to neighbors if > you're moving out of a neighborhood, to classmates when you change > schools, > to anyone if you're going overseas for a while, etc. >
Ah. Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. :-) My teach-yourself book does give "sayonara" as a conversation-ender but the context wasn't clear. I'll have to remember that.
> In the sense of "hasta luego", I'd opt for "jya ne" or "mata ne". >
Hai. :-)
> PS I'm not offended by the informal approach of the Korean, though it did > seem a couple syllables short of what I'm accustomed to hearing (I speak > no > Korean, but isn't there a "-seyo" somewhere in the polite form?). Does > Korean make the same kind of distinction as the Japanese?
I *finally* picked up a halfway-useful looking Korean text, __Integrated Korean_, which lists the following speech levels: deferential: -(seu)mnida polite: -eoyo/-ayo blunt: -so/-o (infrequent) familiar: -ne (infrequent) intimate: -eo/-a plain: -ta/da "I went there": Geogi gasseumnida. Geogi gasseoyo. Geogi gasso. Geogi ganne. Geogi gasseo. Geogi gatta. My initial reaction upon seeing this table was, What?! I don't remember hearing/using blunt/familiar ever! Then I went through a verb and realized I had, I'd just never had it formalized in my head. (Gaw. *Six* levels? How did I survive childhood in Korea?) -seyo occurs when you insert the subject honorific suffix -(eu)se or -(eu) si before the other suffixes. So yes, to an "adult equal or a senior" it would be "annyeonghaseyo." In practice, much of the Korean I learned was the intimate, which you can get by dropping the -yo (sorry, I called it "informal" before). Or you can drop the verb as well just to get "annyeong" (peaceful). Since this list is probably about half my elders and half age- mates/youngers, maybe I should just hedge my bets: Annyeohaseyo! YHL


Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>Korean politeness levels ( wasRe: Tonal Languages taken toextremes)
laokou <laokou@...>
SuomenkieliMaa <suomenkieli@...>