Allocutive imposters in the form of referent honorification




allocutive, honorifics, imposters, Korean, multiple subjects


A special class of honorific constructions in Korean, dubbed as allocutive imposters in this paper, has the form of referent honorifics but expresses respect to the addressee. Allocutive imposters have unique properties that distinguish them from the well-known honorific constructions, referent honorifics and addressee honorifics. Furthermore, they are uniquely sales speech register. Focusing on their marked pragmatic function of being used only in sales discourse, this paper builds on Portner, Pak and Zanuttini (2019, 2022), a functional head c in the left periphery encodes [Formal] and [Status] features and contends that first, these features, in particular, the [Formal] feature which represents the source social relation between the speaker and addressee, can be utilized to encode the markedness of the allocutive imposters. Second, allocutive imposters have a clausal structure with multiple subject positions, the higher position of which is occupied by a null DP with 2nd person features that require checking by the Addressee in the left periphery. It will be shown that the proposed analysis provides an account for the unique properties of allocutive imposters without invoking any special syntactic mechanism.

Author Biography

  • Miok Pak, The George Washington University

    Assistant Professor of Korean Linguistics and Language

    Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures

    The George Washington University




How to Cite

Pak, Miok. 2022. “Allocutive Imposters in the Form of Referent Honorification”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 7 (1): 5221.