Some reflections on the semantic field of “respect” in different system of languages | Статья в сборнике международной научной конференции


Рубрика: 5. Общее и прикладное языкознание

Опубликовано в

II международная научная конференция «Актуальные проблемы филологии» (Краснодар, февраль 2016)

Дата публикации: 08.02.2016

Статья просмотрена: 15 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Маткаримова А. И. Some reflections on the semantic field of “respect” in different system of languages [Текст] // Актуальные проблемы филологии: материалы II Междунар. науч. конф. (г. Краснодар, февраль 2016 г.). — Краснодар: Новация, 2016. — С. 105-107. — URL (дата обращения: 21.06.2018).


This article is devoted to the semantic field of respect in different system of languages. For the first time by analysis of the main intentions of the addresser emotive utterances of respect, praise, flattery, compliment, as units of motivational level detection. During the first intentional analysis determined the relevance of intentional differences and relationship status of communicants.

Keywords: semantic field, respect, self-respect, honorific, politeness, addressee, communication, implication, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, status, social and moral equals, culture.


As we begin a new year, whatever new resolutions we make, there is one thing we will seek every day without fail in our lives and that is RESPECT because it is tied up with our self-esteem and feeling of value. We talk about it a lot, we yearn for it, we expect it automatically and we notice when we haven't been given it by others. But this word is not really understood by many people.

For example, respect is demonstrated by our actions, not our words. And when those actions are absent, especially at a trivial or simple level, there is also a distinct lack of respect. In every relationship respect goes hand-in-hand with love and commitment. We cannot love someone we don't respect or are not prepared to commit to, even for a short time. Otherwise we will resent the time spent with them, or spent doing things on their behalf, when we could be doing something else or be with someone else. Neither can we love someone we really do not trust. Once trust is gone, the feelings become superficial as the relationship shifts in terms of both emotion and power. We would no longer respect that person, tending to be suspicious of their actions instead of celebrating and enjoying their presence.

Respect has great importance in everyday life. As children we are taught (one hopes) to respect our parents, teachers, and elders, school rules and traffic laws, family and cultural traditions, other people's feelings and rights, our country's flag and leaders, the truth and people's differing opinions. And we come to value respect for such things; when we're older, we may shake our heads (or fists) at people who seem not to have learned to respect them. We develop great respect for people we consider exemplary and lose respect for those we discover to be clay-footed, and so we may try to respect only those who are truly worthy of our respect. We may also come to believe that, at some level, all people are worthy of respect. Calls to respect this or that are increasingly part of public life: environmentalists exhort us to respect nature, foes of abortion and capital punishment insist on respect for human life, members of racial and ethnic minorities and those discriminated against because of their gender, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, or economic status demand respect both as social and moral equals and for their cultural differences. And it is widely acknowledged that public debates about such demands should take place under terms of mutual respect. We may learn both that our lives together go better when we respect the things that deserve to be respected and that we should respect some things independently of considerations of how our lives would go.

We may also learn that how our lives go depends every bit as much on whether we respect ourselves. The value of self-respect may be something we can take for granted, or we may discover how very important it is when our self-respect is threatened, or we lose it and have to work to regain it, or we have to struggle to develop or maintain it in a hostile environment. Some people find that finally being able to respect themselves is what matters most about getting off welfare, kicking a disgusting habit, or defending something they value; others, sadly, discover that life is no longer worth living if self-respect is irretrievably lost. It is part of everyday wisdom that respect and self-respect are deeply connected, that it is difficult if not impossible both to respect others if we don't respect ourselves and to respect ourselves if others don't respect us. And also here we remember Confucius states that Respect yourself and others will respect you.

'Respect', or 'address', is one of the overt linguistic expressions of politeness. It indicates the speaker's social relation (including familiarity with) and attitude to the addressee and sometimes also to third persons.

The most widely accepted explanation of the reasons for the occurrence of linguistic politeness, including 'respect' or 'address', is Brown and Levinson's (1987) theory based on the social-psychological notion of face. In Brown and Levinson's account, face is a 'public self-image', a part of the personality of each individual which corresponds to the way the individual wants to be seen and treated by others in the society. According to Brown and Levinson, linguistic expressions of politeness arise because there are numerous types of speech acts and utterances that may threaten the face desires of the addressee. For example, the main functional motivation for developing polite referential expressions which use plural or third person forms with reference to a single addressee is the avoidance of the most direct linguistic reference to the addressee: a second person singular form, which is the most face-threatening.

Expressions of 'respect'

It is reasonable to assume that every language has ways of expressing politeness, but only some languages have special linguistic forms to express different degrees of respect towards the addressee or third persons. Like the category of 'person' for example, 'respect' is fundamentally a relational concept, therefore, based on Shibatani's (1994) description of honorific systems, we can identify three loci of special linguistic forms of respect:

Referent. Politeness is encoded through linguistic forms that express respect towards nominal referents. Politeness systems using such forms are the most widespread, and the historical development of some honorifics systems (e.g. Japanese) indicates that this is the most basic form of honorifics. The respect forms in this category include:

                   titles (such as honorary titles used together with proper names in English or German; or honorific endings attaching to names in Korean or Japanese),

                   polite pronouns (special pronominal forms — often across the whole person paradigm, as in Javanese; pronoun substitution — e.g. plural for singular; or pronoun avoidance and substitution of title, kin term, etc. for pronoun),

                   nominal honorifics (or, honorified nouns, expressing respect either directly towards the referent, or indirectly towards the owner/creator/recipient of the referred object; these are much less common than titles or polite pronouns),

                   verbal honorifics (sometimes called 'subject honorifics': honorifics expressing respect towards the referent of the subject or actor nominal and found on the verb; these include: verbal affixes, suppletive verbal honorific forms as in Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan, honorified nominalisations as in Japanese, and honorified predicate adjectives as in Japanese).

Note that in some languages with elaborate honorifics, the forms listed above may also have humbling counterparts. Humbling forms include: humbling first person pronominals, as in Thai, Korean or Japanese; and humbling verbal forms, sometimes called 'object honorifics' (these include: verbal affixes, suppletive humbling verbal forms, and humbling prefixed nominalisations as in Japanese). The honorific and the humbling strategies may be combined in one utterance — this also applies to 'subject honorifics' (honorific verbal forms, controlled by the subject nominal) and 'object honorifics' (humbling verbal forms, controlled by a nonsubject nominal), which can be combined for example in Tibetan.

Addressee. Politeness is encoded through linguistic forms that express the speaker's respect towards the addressee. In the case of honorific second person pronouns, the reference honorific function and the addressee honorific function converge, but some languages have special addressee-oriented honorific forms. These include:

                   special words of address (such as the English sir and ma'am),

                   special particles (e.g. Tagalog po; Thai kha (female), khrap (male); Tamil nka, lii),

                   special verbal endings (e.g. Korean -sumni; Japanese -mas).

Again, since respect for the referent and respect for the addressee are independent systems, one can occur independently of the other in a language that has both (e.g. Japanese).

In conclusion, we can say according to the forms and meaning of the Respect, it is shown in many languages by following specific grammatical conventions, especially in referring to individuals.

  1.              an attitude of deference, admiration, or esteem; regard
  2.              the state of being honoured or esteemed
  3.              a detail, point, or characteristic; particular he differs in some respects from his son
  4.              reference or relation (esp. in the phrases in respect of, with respect to)
  5.              polite or kind regard; consideration respect for people's feelings
  6.              (often plural) an expression of esteem or regard (esp. in the phrase pay one's respects).

An honorific is a word or expression (often a pronoun) that conveys respect when used in addressing or referring to a person. Typically honorifics are used for second and third persons; use for first person is less common. Some languages have anti-honorific or despective first person forms (meaning something like «your most humble servant» or «this unworthy person») whose effect is to enhance the relative honor accorded a second or third person.




  1.              Andrews, J.N., 1976, “Social Education and Respect for Others,” Journal of Moral Education 5: 139–143.
  2.              Armitage, F., 2006, “Respect and Types of Injustice,” Res Publica 12: 9–34.
  3.              Arnold, D.G. and Bowie, N.E., 2005, “Sweatshops and Respect,” in Ethical Issues for the Twenty-First Century, F. Adams (ed.), Charlottesville: Philosophy Documentation Center.
  4.              Baron, M.W., 1997, “Love and Respect in the Doctrine of Virtue,” The Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (Supplement): 29–44.
  5.              Benditt, T., 2008, “Why Respect Matters,” Journal of Value Inquiry 42:487–496.
  6.              Boettcher, J., 2007, “Respect, Recognition, and Public Reason,” Social Theory and Practice 33: 223–249.
  7.              Buss, S., 1999, “Respect for Persons,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 29: 517–550.
  8.              Chan, S., 2006, “The Confucian Notion of Jing (Respect),” Philosophy East and West 56: 229–252.
  9.              Darwall, S., 2006, The Second Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): RESPECT.

Ключевые слова

коммуникация, культура, пол, статус, семантическое поле, уважение, самоуважение, вежливость, гонорифический, обращение к лицу, импликация, сексуальная (родовая) ориентация, религиозная идеология, социальное и моральное равенство


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