Article

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

ABSTRACT 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)

0 Followers
 · 
167 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Since Brown and Gilman's (1960) study, sociolinguists have shown an increasing interest in the use of address forms in various social domains such as politics, workplace, religion, and acdemia. This study shows how students in a Ghanaian university address one another in varied linguistic forms. To accomplish this task, a three-pronged conceptual framework derived from interactional sociolinguistics and an ethnographic-style research design are adopted. Three key findings emerged from the study. The first finding concerns personal name, descriptive phase, and title as key naming practices among students. Second, constrained by socio-cultural and other situational factors, students draw on these naming practices to address an interlocutor. The third point relates to the display of innovativeness and playfulness in the variation of address forms used in, especially, spontaneous interactions. These findings have implications for variationist theory, intercultural communication, and future research on address forms.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Address terms and reference terms are common but key naming behaviours that are enacted in various social interactions. Thus, unsurprisingly, they have received much attention in sociolinguistic research since the 1960s. The use of these two communicative acts in the academic setting, however, seems under-researched. This study, therefore, investigated address terms and reference terms students used for faculty in a public university in Ghana, utilizing Scott’s (1990) sociological theory on resistance to domination. An ethnographic as well as a triangulated approach, comprising participant and non-participant observations, semi-structured interview and introspection, was used in the study. Analysis of the data revealed three major findings. First, students used three principal forms of address, namely titles, kinship terms and nicknames for faculty. Second, students used titles, personal names and nicknames as the major reference terms for faculty. Finally, address terms and reference terms functioned as symbols of domination and resistance to domination as well as markers of identities which were co-constructed by students. The study has implications for theory, intercultural communication and further research.
    Sociolinguistic Studies 01/2012; 6(3):491-517. DOI:10.1558/sols.v6i3.491
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The current study aims to investigate different terms that spouses apply in order to address each other in different social strata in Iran and to discuss what these patterns reflect about the power and solidarity relationships of spouses in the present society of Iran. To this end, using a social class questionnaire, 97 participants were stratified to upper-middle, middle and lower-middle classes and then the patterns used by them were specified. Analysing the data suggests that Iran's religious and patriarchal society play important roles in the way that spouses address each other. Furthermore, it suggests that with the increase of educated and working women, the relationship between spouses is moving towards solidarity; however, power has found new ways of manifestations.
    03/2011; 3(1). DOI:10.5296/ijl.v3i1.721