Honorification in Nepali: a psycholinguistic perspective

  • Lekhnath Sharma Pathak Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Keywords: honorification, psycholinguistic perspecitive, royalese, neutralization, distal/proximal, Nepali language


This research article explores the psycholinguistic processes of honorification manipulation in Nepali language. Honorification is not static but dynamic process and is affected by many factors including psychological. Data is drawn from published narratives, mostly in the Nepali media, and analyzed from psycholinguistic perspective. The range of data include politics, royalese, language of marital discord and media. Significant influencers in choice of honorifics are fluctuation in state of mind and proximality. The canonical three-level honorific system is discussed as a reference point for psychologically motivated honorification fluctuation. Three types of honorific operators are identified and discussed: psychological, royalese and neutralization. The article attempts to bring forth the complex mechanisms that work on the honorification system in Nepali language.


Author Biography

Lekhnath Sharma Pathak, Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Lekhnath Sharma Pathak (lekhnathspathak@gmail.com) is Lecturer/ Assistant Professor in Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University. He is currently a PhD Scholar of Cognitive Science and works in the areas of Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Science in CDL and has published and presented widely in psycholinguistics, general linguistics, ELT and pedagogy. He runs Cognitive Science and Psycholinguistics Lab in CDL.

How to Cite
Pathak, L. (2019). Honorification in Nepali: a psycholinguistic perspective. Gipan, 4, 80-90. https://doi.org/10.3126/gipan.v4i0.35458