Hannu Salama: Kosti Herhiläisen perunkirjoitus
Flickr photographs
More of my Flickr photos
∙ Current position: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
∙ Ph.D. dissertation Neighborhood Shopkeepers in Contemporary South Korea: Household, Work, and Locality available online (E-Thesis publications a the University of Helsinki). For printed copies, please contact me by e-mail.
Contact ∙ Personal
cellularmailmy del.icio.us bookmarks
my photographs at Flickr
Anthropology at U. of Helsinki
Finnish Anthropological Society
Powered by Blogger

Anthropology, Korean studies and that

Savage Minds
Constructing Amusement
Frog in a Well

Often visited

The Marmot's Hole Gusts Of Popular FeelingSanchon Hunjang Mark RussellLanguage hatMuninngyuhang.netSedisKemppinenJokisipiläPanun palsta
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Google this blog
Download Hangul Viewer 2002
Download Hangul Office Viewer 2007

Thursday, March 11, 2004

(Family and kin) "Our uncle", her husband

Doing some writing about how the social status (stratum, class, whatever) affects the terms of address and reference, especially the latter. The people that I'm writing about would in English-language terms be called lower middle class, or self-entrepreneurial stratum; in Korean colloquial terms they are usually "ordinary people" (sômin), or changsahanûn saram (business-keeping people) in terms of occupation. And this shows nicely in the manner women refer to their husbands. At first I was baffled when a restaurant-keeping woman told that an ajôssi (literally "uncle", mostly in a non-kinship meaning) was occasionally helping her in running the place. Ajôssi - must be some family friend I thought before I realized that this "uncle" meant her husband. "Husband" (namp'yôn) was actually used quite rarely, and only by certain people; this one who used namp'yôn instead of ajôssi was one who thought of herself different from the rest of the neighborhood, not in terms of wealth but background and views on society.

Checked "Korean Kinship Terminology" [Han'guk ch'injok yongô] by Ch'oe Chae-sôk, which is a very detailed work with lists and tables of every (well, almost) conceivable kinship term there is. It lists 20 terms of reference for one's husband (sanae, namp'yôn, sillang, sôbang, yônggam etc) but not ajôssi. How come? Most likely because it's not "proper" language use, not fitting with the ideas of "language manners" (ônô yejôl). In more well-off surroundings with better middle class credits one wouldn't hear this term that much. It obvious that there's tendency to use ajôssi when the husband is treated as an ajôssi elsewhere, not having an uncontested status of a "teacher" or a "company president" (sajang) etc.

(Term of address: used when calling someone directly; term of reference: used when talking about someone)

Categories at del.icio.us/hunjang: