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What is a bystander honorific?

 

Definition
 

A bystander honorific is an honorific in which the social status of some other person present is expressed through choices made among linguistic alternants. These choices

 
  • are made based upon the person’s relationship to the speaker, but
  • do not depend on whether

    • the alternants refer to the person, or
    • the person is the addressee.
Example (Dyirbal, Australia)
 
  • Dyirbal has a "mother-in-law language" which is a set of lexical items substituted in the presence of

    • opposite-sex parents-in-law
    • opposite-sex children-in-law, and
    • opposite-sex cross-cousins.
    Source:

    Dixon 1972 32

  • Generic
      A bystander honorific is a kind of
     
    Sources
     

    Levinson 1983 90–91

     

    Comrie 1976b

     

    Dixon 1972 32


    Context for this page:

    Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

    Page content last modified: 5 January 2004

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