An Analysis on Politeness in Koreans' Request Realization

  • Received : 20110100
  • Published : 2011.03.30


The study examines how Koreans' politeness is realized in a speech act, request. The main focus is to explore underlying rationale and influence involved in their performance, not just the comparison of difference in politeness realization between native and nonnative speakers of English, as previous studies did. The study employs the DCT, an attached politeness scale questionnaire, and interviews. Twenty nine university students participated in the study. Interchangeable reading of the three data yields some interesting and valuable insights. The participants heavily rely on a few formulaic expressions to express politeness, such as interrogatives with modal verbs, please and excuse me as a politeness marker. They want to use honorific address terms that is literally translated into English, and have a belief that there are honorific words in English as in Korean. The study refers to the participants' voice on indirectness, nonverbal messages, and expressions with different connotations between English and Korean.