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.
2. Imperatives in Disguise of Declarative Forms
3. Structure of the Disguised Imperatives
4. Being Polite by Being Indirect