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The politeness systems of address, variations across Breton dialects

Abstract : This paper provides a synthesis of the various address systems in Breton dialects, and their evolution during the last century. I discuss the available data and the methodology of my synthesis of it, and I add the elicitation results of my recent fieldwork. I describe three distinct address systems: hierarchical TV (plurals are directed to superiors as a V form), gendered TV (plurals are directed to women and girls as a V form) and non-dual (the singular marker is missing in all paradigms, the plural form is the only address pronoun and does not realize a formal marker, †V). I map these systems to their respective territories of usage. I analyse the diachronic evolution and the cross-influences of these three systems over the last century. Most of the speakers in a central and south area are restricted to a unique address pronoun, like Modern English you. This system gains ground towards the coasts, where a distinctive T address among male close friends or relatives gives rise to a TV gendered system like in Welsh (Watkins 1977). In the remaining North and SouthEast areas, a hierarchical TV system organized around age and social status resists much more to the extension of the central area. I present evidence for independent subsystems inside both TV systems: addresses to animals, to clergymen and God. Occasional inversion of an expected marker serves emotionally charged interactions (aggressive T, hypocoristic V).
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03094550
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 22, 2021 - 1:38:14 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 19, 2022 - 3:47:31 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 6:00:45 PM

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Mélanie Jouitteau. The politeness systems of address, variations across Breton dialects. Roczniki Humanistyczne, Faculty of Humanities of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 2021, CELTIC LANGUAGES: A FORMAL AND FUNCTIONAL PERSPECTIVE, 69 (11), ⟨10.18290/rh216911-6s⟩. ⟨hal-03094550⟩

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