Sociolinguistic Study on the Address Term “Meinü” in Present-day China

Pei-pei REN


Nowadays, “meinü” (‘beautiful ladies’) has become a popular address term to females in China. It is no longer a privilege term used to refer to beautiful young ladies, but a pan-honorific term for the females. Based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, this study examines the usage of address term “meinü” across four cities by analyzing their sociolinguistic functions in communication. The information about the addresser and the addressee, such as age and gender, as well as information about the relationship between the interlocutors, such as degree of intimacy, or level of solidarity are also studied.
Key words: address term, meinü, sociolinguistic function
Résumé: De nos jours, le mot « belle », appellation des femmes, est très populaire en Chine. Le mot « belle », n’étant plus réservé aux femmes jeunes et jolies, devient une appellation polie pour toutes les femmes. Le présent article, en combinant la méthode quantitative et la méthode qualitative de recherche, examine profondément l’utilisation de ce mot dans 4 villes chinoises et sa fonction pragmatique dans la communication. L’auteur étudie aussi des informations sur le locuteur et l’interlocuteur, telles que le sexe, l’âge, leur relation, etc.
Mots-Clés: mot d’appellation, belle, fonction pragmatique

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