SOCIOCULTURAL COMPETENCE IN UNDERSTANDING FORMS OF ADDRESS: CASE STUDY OF KINSHIP TERMS IN DIFFERENT CULTURAL CONTEXTS
In the process of second language learning, much attention is paid to sociopragmatic and pragmalinguistic competence, while sociocultural competence has yet to receive proper importance and attention, eventho’ it is the key to understanding the other and enables the learner to use the target language in accordance with its norms and traditions.
The present paper aims to show the importance of sociocultural knowledge in the process of learning the use of address forms to implement the speech act of addressing others in different cultural contexts , i.e. English, Indian, Arabic and Russian, and demonstrate the close link of forms of address to cultural value systems, relationship and ethnic identity. Numerous studies have shown that each language has a wide range of address forms which may include zero forms, pronominal forms and nominal forms (names, kinship terms, acronyms, and titles) (e.g. Braun 1988, Clyne 2009, Larina, Suryanarayan 2013). Drawing on G. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (1991), politeness theory (Brown and Levinson 1987, Leech 2014,Watts 2003), Intercultural pragmatics (Kecskes 2014, Wierzbicka 1991/2003), and address forms theory (Braun 1988, Clyne, Norrby & Warren 2009 and others ) the paper demonstrates culture specific use of kinship forms of address in Eastern cultures (Jordan and India) and Russia which contrast with the Western, mainly British traditions and highlights their function and pragmatic meaning. It further shows how speakers of a particular language conceptualize their social relationships and argues that the sociocultural organization of society and key values of the target culture should be given importance in FLT classroom as they impart the understanding of politeness and communicative behaviour. The paper contributes to the understanding of address forms in different cultural contexts and its results can be used in the classes of second language teaching and intercultural communication.
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