First grammatical encoding of Japanese Politeness (17th century)

Gonçalo Fernandes, Carlos Assunção
2018 Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas  
We analyze the description of the polite language in the early 17th century Japanese grammars, mainly the 'large' grammar (1604–1608) by the missionaries João Rodrigues 'Tçuzu' [the interpreter], S.J. (1562–1633), and the Japanese grammar (1632) by Diego Collado, O.P. (late 16th century–1638). Over 350 years of the Pragmatics established as a linguistic domain, one of the first Japanese dictionaries (1603–1604) introduced the designation of honorific particles and honored verbs. Rodrigues
more » ... ped this terminology considerably, having analyzed accurately social and linguistic relationships and ways of Japanese reverence and politeness. He proposed an innovative linguistic terminology, inexistent in former European grammars and dictionaries, of which a part was followed by Collado: honorific and humble or humiliative particles, honored and humble verbs, honorable or honorific and low pronouns. Rodrigues also paid special attention to the women's specific forms of address, describing their own 'particles'. To sum up, the earlier 17th century Japanese grammars described pioneeringly what nowadays has been called as the Politeness Principle of Japanese or the honorific language of Japanese, termed as Keigo (respect language) or, academically, Taigū Hyōgen (treatment expressions).
doi:10.1590/1981.81222018000100011 fatcat:nnixo2yc4jafbngzvh253hxope