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The Realization of Address Terms in Modern Persian in Iran:
A Sociolinguistic Study

Mohammad Aliakbari/Arman Toni (Ilam University)


 

Abstract

As an important feature of interface between language and society, address terms can provide valuable sociolinguistic information about the interlocutors, their relationship and their circumstances. As a result, in the past few decades address terms in different languages have been studied from different angles and with varying focus. In line with those studies this article focuses on identifying different types of addressing terminology that Persian interlocutors may use in different contexts. Personal names, general and occupation titles, kinship related terms, religious oriented expressions, honorifics, terms of intimacy, personal pronouns, descriptive phrases and employing greetings or attention getters to avoid address terms were found to be the possible categories for Persian addressers choice. The study also reveals that Persian language is rich enough in this respect and that an artful skill is required for Persian speakers to make an accurate and proper use of the vast range of choices for addressing individuals in various contexts. In addition to account for the abandonment of certain socioeconomic-referenced terms, the study also shows a number of culture-specific address terms which may have no equivalent in English.


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