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Verbal Inflection for Formality

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 11:15
Hi! I posted this on the ZBB, but I'd really appreciate any responses
here as well.

I know a little bit about the way Japanese has verb marking for
formality, although my knowledge is a bit vague. But I've never seen a
detailed cross-linguistic description of the phenomenon: when books
mention it at all (and many which should don't, eg Describing
Morphosyntax) Japanese is almost always the only example in my
experience. Surely there must be other languages that do the same thing
out there... anyway, I'm very interested in learning more about this.
I'd be very grateful if someone could either:

(1) Outline in detail for me the exact system Japanese has in verbal
inflection for formality

(2) Give examples from languages other than Japanese of verbal
inflection for formality

(3) Provide any proposed typological generalizations (+ counter-examples
if you know any) of verbal inflection for formality


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Sai Emrys <sai@...>