International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Terms of Address Usage: the Case of Iranian Spouses
Saeedeh Esmae’li

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of social context on the different usage of address terms (first name “FN”, pet name “PN”, and respect name “RN”) according to distinctive contexts between spouses (1. together alone, 2. in the presence of child(ren), and 3. in the presence of husband/wife's parents). Data were collected through interview and a questionnaire. 200 participants were  according to researcher’s criteria: being married and having child(ren). Participants were divided into three different groups according to their age, and into three groups according to their educational level. The results show women and men use PN more when alone. And they use RN more than FN in the third situation. In address terms usage there was no difference between men regarding their educational degree and age differences. Considering women’s educational degree there was no difference in usage of PN, FN, and RN. But regarding age differences, there was difference: the first and second age groups prefer to use FN more than RN in order to show more affection, while the third age group is very likely to use more RN in order to show their respect towards their husbands. The findings of the study, therefore, support the view that language is sensitive to its social context. As a result, simply presenting the learners with linguistic input would not guarantee that they would be able to express themselves appropriately in different situations; they should be taught when to say what to whom and how.

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