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KCI등재 학술저널

Disguised Imperatives in Korean

This paper examines a group of constructions in Korean that have recently emerged in specific registers. These constructions are truly intriguing pragmatically and syntactically, though they have not, to-date, received sufficient attention, nor serious linguistic analysis. Comparing these emergent constructions (e.g., yangchi ha-si-keyss-upni-ta ‘Rinse your mouth’) with their imperative counterparts (e.g., yanchi ha-si-e-yo), we show: (i) that they are declarative sentence addressed to the hearer; (ii) that they utilize a strategy of indirectness for the purpose of politeness (seemingly overriding Gricean maxims); (iii) that they are increasingly expanding into a wide range of registers used in service sectors; and (iv) that this emerging construction is now fully grammaticalized and is viewed as a fixed politeness expression for these registers irreplaceable by other politeness expressions. What this analysis implies is that a general pragmatic principle that round-about indirect expressions are considered more polite than direct ones, in some social situations and that this general principle is explicitly encoded in a linguistically identifiable form in languages like Korean.

1. Introduction

2. Imperatives in Disguise of Declarative Forms

3. Structure of the Disguised Imperatives

4. Being Polite by Being Indirect

5. Conclusion

References

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