Politeness Markers in Philippine Languages: 2nd Person Plural Pronouns, Particles, Verbs, Auxiliaries and Titles

Author: Dave Ryan Mikhail S. Go (University of the Philippines Diliman)
Speaker: Dave Ryan Mikhail S. Go
Topic: General Sociolinguistics
The CALA 2021 General Session


Philippine languages are known to contain features that indicate politeness to the addressee based on a perceived higher status due to the hierarchical nature of indigenous cultures. With that, a Philippine language can contain any of the following: a polite second-person plural pronoun, particles that convey politeness, titles or honorifics, comitative verbs, and auxiliaries. However, not all languages contain politeness particles or use the second-person plural as a form of courtesy. Thus, a study was done to survey the languages and to compare different features that indicate polite speech. As shown by the translations of the respondents, three Philippine languages (Tagalog, Kapampangan, and Central Bikol) use politeness particles, and three Philippine languages (Tagalog, Kapampangan, and Pangasinan) use the second-person plural pronoun. Furthermore, the use of auxiliaries and comitative verbs for polite imperatives and requests was widespread throughout the studied languages, and the use of titles and honorifics is universal. With that, the research aimed to study the differences in politeness indicators in the ten major languages of Tagalog, Kapampangan, Central Bikol, Ilocano, Pangasinan, Cebuano, Waray-Waray, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Maguindanao, and Tausug, and compare and analyze produced translated data.


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Keywords: Politeness, T-V distinction, Philippine languages, honorifics, sociolinguistics