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Politeness in Historical and Contemporary Chinese A Comparative Analysis by Yuling Pan, Daniel Z. Kadar

Politeness in Historical and Contemporary Chinese A Comparative Analysis



Politeness in Historical and Contemporary Chinese A Comparative Analysis by Yuling Pan, Daniel Z. Kadar

Kadar and Pan's exciting researchcompares traditional and contemporary Chinese polite communication norms and maps the similarities and differences between them. The approach is innovative, because whilst intercultural politeness has received considerable attention,intracultural comparative politeness is a neglected issue. Considering the importance of China on the world stage, this understanding of Chinese politeness norms is pivotal,to both experts of communication studies and those that haveinteractions with the Chinese community. The secondary objective of the book is to study the driving forces behind the large-scale diachronic formation of Chinese politeness norms. It takes a sociolinguistic approach to examining how social changes and changes in discursive practice lead to the change of politeness norms. The study will contribute to both politeness research and historical pragmatics by comparing traditional and contemporary Chinese politeness norms and analysing the driving force behind their diachronic shift. It will be invaluable to researchers and postgradute students in the field of linguistics, in particular politeness research, pragmatics and historical pragmatics. It is clear, instructive and requires no prior knowledge of Chinese.


A fascinating journey through one of the most pervasive dimensions of human interaction, in a civilisation that continues to intrigue and provoke.--Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini, University of Warwick, UK This is an impressive book which is intended for both researchers in the Chinese language and also for non-Chinese scholars. There is a wealth of examples to illustrate the authors
argument and the book brings great insight into current and historical politeness, but it also forces readers to consider the way that status and deference play a role in politeness and impoliteness in other languages such as English

.--Sanford Lakoff In this pioneering study of changes in forms of politeness over time in the same culture, Pan and Kadar contend that China's famed tradition of courtesy and deference now seem to exist only as ideologies.--Sanford Lakoff

About the Author

Yuling Pan is a sociolinguistic at the U.S. Census Bureau, where she directs multilingual research projects for survey research. Daniel Z. Kadar is a Research Fellow at the Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary. He is winner of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Young Scholar Award 2010.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th March 2011


Yuling Pan, Daniel Z. Kadar

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


214 pages


Semantics, discourse analysis, etc



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