Kádár, Daniel Z. (2005) The Powerful and the Powerless - on the classification of the Chinese polite denigrating/elevating addressing terminology. Acta Orientalia, 58 (4). pp. 421-443. ISSN 0001-6446

The aim of this paper is to discuss the pre-modern social use of elevating/denigrating addressing terms, i.e., howthe whole vocabularyof denigrating/elevating addressing terms can be categorised. The question is how many significant social groups existed in pre-modern China which had their own self-denigrating terminology as speakers, and other-elevating-terminology as addressees. Although the social distribution of non-familiar elevating/denigrating addressing terms seems to be chaotic, I shall try to prove that a certain socio-pragmatic system, a system of social power, of these terms exists, according to which the elevating/denigrating addressing vocabulary can be classified. This classification will also help understand the systematic use of these terms.

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