The Functions and Use of Greetings

Wei LI


In this paper, the studies of the most important functions of greetings in different social contents will be reviewed. First, greetings as illocutionary speech acts according to Austin’s Speech Act Theory will be discussed. Then an analysis of greetings as linguistic routines of politeness will be reviewed. After that, the use of greetings in actual social interaction will be examined. Finally, social factors that affect the choice of greetings in terms of Laver’s framework will be presented.Key words: greeting; function; use

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