Accepted paper:

Recent honorifics: confusion in the use of humble forms


Orie Endo

Paper short abstract:

最近、尊敬語のつもりで謙譲語を用いた誤用が多くみられる。2016年9月には安倍首相が、「陛下が国民に向けてご発言されたこと…」と述べて、新聞にもそのまま載った。 尊敬表現なら、「ご発言をされた」か、「発言された」であるはずのところである。 介護記録の中にも尊敬語のつもりで、「○○さんが申した」のような記載がある。一方で文化庁の調査では、敬語は簡素化する方がいいという意見26.1%に対して、豊かな表現を大切にすべきとの意見が64.1%となっている。こうした最近の日本語の中の敬語の混乱について具体例をもとに考察する。

Paper long abstract:

There was an article in the newspaper about Prime Minister Abe's comment regarding Japanese Emperor Akihito's plan to abdicate the throne before he dies. Abe said, "we sincerely have received our emperor's statement (go-hatsugen sareta) toward Japanese citizen" (Mainichi 2016). We see another misuse of honorifics in articles regarding the royal family in the December issue of Bungei Shunjü of 2015. It said, "right after Sayako got married (go-seikon sarete)," and "after Emperor and Empress visited (go-hōmon sarete) Saipan." These examples used humble forms instead of respectful forms. We see many more examples of such misuse of humble forms in nursing care records. "A sensor has started. We lead (go-an'nai sasete itadaku) you to the bathroom." "When I said, 'wait,' s/he responded (to-mōsu) 'got it.'" There was a recent survey conducted by the ministry of education regarding the use of honorifics. It indicates that 26.1% of Japanese people think that honorifics should be simple and easy to understand, but that 64.1% of people think that rich expressions (meaning honorifics) should be treated as important. It is interesting to know that Japanese people frequently misuse honorifics (reality) while they want to reserve the use of honorifics (ideal). My paper is to examine the background of the actual misuse of honorifics in recent Japanese.

panel S2_11
Language use