Politeness Strategies and Address Terms in Igbo and Igala Kinship Cultures

Chinwe Ezeifeka, Joseph Sunday Ojonugwa


The work aims at investigating politeness strategies in Igbo and Igala cultures with a view to finding out how these two cultures handle the various strategies, honorifics and address terms in kinship relationships. The theoretical bases of the work are Brown and Levinson’s face-saving view of politeness which draws heavily from Goffman’s concept of face and interaction order. Our findings show that the two cultures under review are conscious of affronts to positive and negative face, favours indirectness and off-record strategies more than bald-on-record strategies. The two cultures also employ culture-specific honorifics and address terms especially in relating with parents, spouses, elder relations, siblings and peers. It is evident from the findings that contrary to what the present day so –called “civilization” may de-culturize people into especially in the use of first names, these two cultures still uphold the inbuilt cultural respect in observing politeness strategies, honorifics and address terms.


Politeness strategies; Face; Face-threatening acts; Honorifics; Face-saving view; Address terms; Igbo and Igala cultures

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10981


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