The sociopragmatic significance of some address forms in Tonga

Thumbnail Image
Hanchoko, Vitah M.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The current study examined some address forms in Tonga from a sociopragmatic perspective within the framework of sociolinguistics and pragmatics. In particular, the study applied speech act theory, politeness theories and the theory of conversational implicature. This research was done in order to assess the sociopragmatic significance of address forms as they are used in different social contexts. Monze district of Southern Province was the study area. The researcher investigated the pragmatic functions of address forms from three aspects: the interpersonal function (what roles they play when two people are conversing), the illocutionary function (where the speaker’s intention is interpreted) and the cultural function (how these linguistic items are supposed to be used according to cultural norms). This study was guided by three theories: the speech act theory, `which elaborates the communicative act performed by what has been said; the politeness theory (particularly the positive face), which in this study helped the researcher in finding out what kind of address forms are used to prevent conflicts during interaction, and the theory of conversational implicature, which had guided the researcher in finding out the intention of the speaker in using a particular type of address form. That is, working out the meaning from what has not been plainly stated. Primary data was elicited from sixty informants who are native speakers of Chitonga by interviewing them using unstructured and semi structured frames. Simple and participant observations were conducted to collect data as people were carrying out their daily activities. Being the native speaker of the language under study, the researcher used other speakers and informants to validate collected forms of address. The data were collected on a sample size of sixty respondents drawn from homes, church, assorted meetings, social gatherings (weddings, ceremonies, funerals), and were categorized according to types. As regards data analysis and interpretation, the study adopted the qualitative approach. Findings were categorized further according to the research objectives.
Zambian languages-Address, Form of , Sociolinguistic , Language and culture study and teaching