Variation In Address Forms For Arab Married And Unmarried Woeman In The World

1640 words - 7 pages

Variation in Address Forms for Arab Married and Unmarried Women in the Workplace.

1. Introduction

The present proposal handles the topic of address forms. Hence, it will introduce the basic concepts which are effective in dealing with address forms for Arab married and unmarried women. The politeness theory, terms of address usage in workplace and their categories will be discussed.

1.1 Politeness Theory

Politeness theory is a socio-cultural phenomenon based on the social values and norms of a particular community. Holmes (1995:285) reports that politeness is "culturally determined", meaning what might be considered as polite in one culture, might not be polite in another. She defines politeness as "taking account of the feelings of others".

Brown and Levinson (1987:107) state that "terms of address can be used as a method of stressing common ground between speaker and hearer indicating that they share specific wants, including goals and values". They propose two main strategies for performing linguistic acts namely, positive politeness and negative politeness refers to the strategies that is speaker uses to express solidarity, intimacy or equal status with addresses. By contrast, negative politeness refers to the expresstion of social distance or status difference (Holmes, 1995:297).

1.2 Terms of Address

The most common honorifics in communication are usually placed immediately before a person's name. Honorific, used for style and as forms of address, are "Mrs" if the female is married, "Miss" if she is unmarried, and "Ms" if her marital status is unknown or she has no desire to specify it.

Oyetade (1995:515) defines address terms as "a word or expressions used interactive, dyadic and face situation to designate the person being talked to". Braun (1988:7) claims that "often they [terms of address] designate the necessarily so, since their lexical meaning can differ from or even contradict the addressee characteristics".

1.3 Categories of Address Terms

There are many categories for address forms, such as personal names of address (Laila), titles (Miss), occupational terms (Doctor), kinship terms (Mama) and polite or respect terms (Madam, sitt or sayyidah).

1.4 Social Factors Affecting Address System

When any two people communicate, appropriate terms of address must be chosen in order to obtain an effective communication between them. According to Parkinson (1985) terms of address are not chosen randomly but they are governed by certain factors, such as speaker related factors, addressee related factors, speaker-addressee relationship, the interlocutors, and the context.

2. Review of Related Literature

The main goal of this study is to investigate the sociolinguistic structure of women terms of address usage in workplace. This part tries to review a number of related studies in different languages, mainly English and Arabic.

Mehrotra (1985) describes the forms of address in Hindi in relation to the socio-cultural...

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