Title

Tongan Chiefly Language: The Formation Of An Honorific Speech Register

Abstract

In this paper we examine the formation over time of a lexical honorific speech register, Tongan lea faka'eiki, or 'chiefly language'. Use of the comparative historical method enables us to consider honorific register formation within a framework of greater temporal and spatial scope that has been typical for studies of register formation, and to identify some properties of such formation that have not been documented before. Our evidence shows that the higher and lower levels of honorification in this speech register have been formed at different times and through predominantly different etymological processes, even as they draw on the same broader set of word formation processes. In recorded speech, the differences between the sources of the two sub-registers are even more pronounced, preserving and reproducing the historical differences in their formation.*

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Publication Date

11-1-2010

Publication Title

Language In Society

Department

Anthropology

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1017/S004740451000062X

Keywords

Linguistics, Sociology

Language

English

Format

text

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