Impersonal Politeness
(1,989 words)

Chinese tradition did not encourage impersonal politeness to strangers, comparable to the generic English hello, Japanese konnichiwa, or Arabic/Hebrew shalom, used uniformly toward people regardless of their rank. China’s politeness has been hierarchical, centered on face building among insiders addressed by title. Strangers can fall outs…

Cite this page
Mary ERBAUGH, “Impersonal Politeness”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 24 April 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_000253>
First published online: 2016



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