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Japanese name-suffixes (was Re: Moi, le Kou)

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Saturday, January 13, 2001, 1:46
-----Original Message-----
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2001 8:02 AM
Subject: Re: Moi, le Kou (was: verbs = nouns?)

>From: "Yoon Ha Lee" > >Among the nursery school and kindergarten set, -kun is for boys, -chan is >for girls. In that context, they are obviously used as diminutives. I >think -kun is normally used toward male friends and elders to whom one
>to be deferent and yet imply familiarity. -chan, technically, is a >diminutive form of -san and so can be used with anybody one want to foster
>familiar, cutesy-wutesy feel, regardless of sex. (Niichan: Brother Dear, >lovers [à la baby talk] would probably use it across the gender gap) Since
<bonking self on head> And I've *heard* niichan, but didn't make the connection. Thanks.
>American." "Thank you??"). Since maids would address the young master of an >upper class household with -chan, in an auntie-clueless bachelor >relationship, that's what I got. I didn't hear -dono used a lot while in >Japan. My dictionary says it's a bit more polite than the generic -san >or -sama.
Kenshin is set in the Meiji Restoration, and it's only used when addressing the female characters, but that may be coincidence. <pondering> It would be fun to come up with name-suffixes, but it wouldn't fit the society. Maybe another conlang. I'm thinking that officer-ranks in a relatively militarized society could eventually evolve into politeness-hierarchy suffixes....
>> YHL, who figures she's not a boku, but gets lot when it comes to atashi, >> watashi, ore, and who knows what other variants > >No, you're not a boku. Boku is guys. Ore is too butch to be believed -- I >couldn't use that with a straight face unless I was mimicking a yakuza or >something. Boku can fit into that latter-day Prince Andrew persona I >described above.
<G> There's an anime called _Utena_, I think, that features a pink-haired girl at some bizarre private school who goes around in boys' clothes and uses "boku" for herself. (The series, from what I've seen of it, is incredibly bizarre.) Kenshin in _Rurouni Kenshin_ only uses "ore" in his hitokiri battousai mode...<pealing into laughter at the thought of Kenshin-the-yakuza with his sakaba-to> YHL, who seems over anime-acculturated until you see the *real* fangirls/boys...