Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0257-3784
  • E-ISSN: 2212-9731
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study examines the nominal address terms in Korean and Japanese and argues that the notion of ‘Intimacy’ plays a crucial role in choosing an appropriate nominal address term in both languages. In the past several decades, a long list of researchers working in diverse languages have evaluated the validity of the Power and Solidarity semantics proposed by Brown and Gilman (1960), which provided a ground-breaking framework to account for the selection of pronominal address terms in the T-V languages. Building on the Power and Solidarity semantics, we propose to fine-tune it by adding Intimacy as the third dimension crisscrossing the first two well-established dimensions. We take Power and Solidarity as socially prescribed notions while Intimacy is personally defined. We demonstrate how this highly subjective notion dictates and often manipulates the ways the Korean/Japanese speaker selects an appropriate nominal address term. In particular, we argue that the Korean selection of pseudo-kinship terms over the neutral title ssi, or the Japanese use of chan/kun by adult speakers in lieu of the default ‘Last Name+san’, cannot be accounted for without applying Intimacy as a crucial indexing device. Furthermore, we suggest that Intimacy is not an ad hoc dimension specific to Korean and Japanese, but that it is relevant to all languages whether or not a given language has an overt way of encoding it.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Address terms; Indexicality; intimacy; Japanese; Korean; power and solidarity
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error