Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

Get access

Face
(2,536 words)

Face, thanks to Brown and Levinson’s (1978, 1987) seminal work, has attracted an enormous amount of attention in linguistic pragmatics. Goffman’s now well-recognized classic paper “On Face-work” (Goffman 1955; reprinted in Goffman 1972) has similarly influenced sociology. Interestingly, both works acknowledge their debt to the Chinese origin of face. Ho (1976:867) writes: “the concept of face is, of course, Chinese in origin, and the term is a literal translation of the Chinese lien [liǎn] and mien-tzu [miànzi] (cf. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary 1944; Webster’s Dictiona…

Cite this page
Yueguo GU, “Face”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 26 May 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000152>
First published online: 2015



▲   Back to top   ▲