A Sociolinguistic analysis of address forms in Yoruba
Language in Society
(Impact Factor: 1.19).
08/1995; 24(04):515 - 535. DOI: 10.1017/S004740450001900X
This article provides a descriptive analysis of the entire system of address forms in Yoruba, a Defoid language of the Niger-Congo phylum, spoken principally in the western part of Nigeria and to a lesser extent in the Republics of Benin and Togo. With data from short radio and TV plays, unobtrusive observation of actual usage, and introspection, it was discovered that the choices made by interlocutors are guided by the perceived social relationship that exists between them. The principal indices of this among the Yoruba are age, social status, and kinship. Nevertheless, certain peculiarities are noticeable. For instance, the dichotomy of power vs. solidarity (Brown & Gilman 1960) becomes blurred with respect to Yoruba kinship terms of address; thus solidarity does not necessarily imply equality among the Yoruba. (Politeness, address, kinship, Africa, Yoruba)
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