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The ancient Greek address system and some proposed sociolinguistic universals

  • Eleanor Dickey (a1)

This article summarizes the results of a longer study of address forms in Ancient Greek, based on 11,891 address tokens from a variety of sources. It argues that the Greek evidence appears to contradict two tendencies, found in address forms in other languages, which have been claimed as possible sociolinguistic universals: the tendency toward T/V distinctions, and the principle that “What is new is polite.” It is suggested that these alleged universals should perhaps be re-examined in light of the Greek evidence, and that ancient languages in general have more to contribute to sociolinguistics than is sometimes realized. (Address, Ancient Greek, T/V distinctions)

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Fnedenke Braun (1988) Terms of address Problems of patterns and usage in various languages and cultures BerlinMouton de Gruyter

Roger Brown , & Marguerite Ford (1961) Address in American English Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 62 375–85

Rolf O Kroger , & Linda A Wood (1992) Are the rules of address universal? IV Comparison of Chinese, Korean, Greek, and German usage Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 23 148–62

Dan I Slobin , Stephen H Miller , & Lyman W Porter (1968) Forms of address and social relations in a business organization Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 8 289–93

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Language in Society
  • ISSN: 0047-4045
  • EISSN: 1469-8013
  • URL: /core/journals/language-in-society
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