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)

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study focuses on the analysis of specific linguistic features that relate to translator behavior. Thus, a parallel English-Chinese corpus is compiled to investigate the translation patterns used by Chinese translators for translating the Chinese honorific pronoun 'nin' in their renditions of Anglo-American novels, originally published in the nineteenth century. The honorific pronoun of address plays a prominent role in daily communication as it is linked to politeness norms and cultural idiosyncrasies. By analyzing the co-occurrence of nominal and pronominal address terms in the source text for which the Chinese honorific pronoun 'nin' is put to use in translations, the nature of the employment of the Chinese honorific pronoun in translation can be identified, which can uncover the relationship between nominal and pronominal terms of address in the original as well as the influence on Chinese translators to select an asymmetrical pronoun to elucidate an address relationship and a speaker's attitude and intention.