International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

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

The Concept of Ubuntu and Face in the Burundian Context: A Discourse Analysis of the Speech Acts of Requests and Apology
Ildephonse Horicubonye

This study explores the applicability of the concept of face in relation to the speech acts of requests and apology(Levinson, Brown, Levinson, & Levinson, 1987) in the Burundian context and how the concept of Ubuntu is expressed in these speech acts. To this end, it analysed data collected from NINDE? (who is she/he?), a popular TV show in Burundi. Results indicate that while Brown and Levinson contend that requests carry a high degree of imposition and are therefore face -threatening, requests are not always considered by Burundian speakers and addressees as face threatening, and that face is primarily a societal concern rather than individual wants. Furthermore, the concept of Ubuntu reveals that speakers care more about the group’s needs than individuals’.

Full Text: PDF