14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Contributions of Lexical and Prosodic Factors to the Perception of Politeness

Kikuo Maekawa

Dept. Language Behavior. The National Language Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

Relative contributions of the two sources of politeness, namely sentence final particle and overall intonation contour, were measured with a paired-comparison procedure, using three distinct age groups of Kumamoto Japanese as subjects.
   Application of ANOVA revealed that the effects of the two factors were highly significant, making statistically independent contributions to the perception of politeness. At the same time, an age-related difference of perception was found out: younger subjects tend to rely more upon intonation than the particle, whereas middle-aged subjects rely more upon the particle. This is most presumably due to an ongoing linguistic change of the particle system in the material language. Finally, a mechanism for the perception of intonational politeness is presented.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Maekawa, Kikuo (1999): "Contributions of lexical and prosodic factors to the perception of Politeness", In ICPhS-14, 1573-1576.