Address rituals as heuristics of social structure

E.F. Kotze


The address form as linguistic variable has more realisation possibilities than any other,
because semantic variation is involved and it reflects all the different interpersonal relations
in the societal structure. Factors such as religious status, sex, kinship and age differences
play a key role in the choice of the address form. It is hypothesised that the way in which
address forms vary in a speech community is a linguistic reflection of the social norms
determining the hierarchical structure of the community.
Die aanspreekvorm as linguistiese veranderlike het meer verwesenlikingsmoontlikhede as
enige ander vorm, want semantiese verskeidenheid is betrokke en dit reflekteer die verskillende
interpersoonlike verhoudings in die gemeenskapstruktuur. Faktore soos religieuse
status, geslag, verwantskap en ouderdomsverskille speel 'n sleutelrol in die aanspreekvorm.
Daar word gehipotetiseer dat die wyse waarop aanspreekvorms in 'n spraakgemeenskap
wissel, 'n linguistiese refleksie is van die sosiale norme wat die hierargiese struktuur van die
gemeenskap bepaal.

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