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On not calling people by their names : Pragmatic undertones of sociocultural relationships in a postcolony

Title data

Anchimbe, Eric A.:
On not calling people by their names : Pragmatic undertones of sociocultural relationships in a postcolony.
In: Journal of Pragmatics. Vol. 43 (2011) Issue 6 . - pp. 1472-1483.
ISSN 0378-2166
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2010.10.013

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

This paper discusses name-avoidance by Cameroonians, and some of the socio-pragmatic impacts it creates. Focus is on five items that are often used in place of personal names—manyi (mother of twins), tanyi (father of twins), moyo (in-law, especially male), mbanya (co-wife in a polygamous marriage), and mbombo (namesake). The paper identifies some of the contexts in, and the purposes for, which these terms are used. Cameroon, like many other postcolonial contexts, is acutely different from certain English-based Western cultures in which using someone's personal name may be part of a positive politeness strategy and not disrespect or impoliteness as it is the case in the Cameroonian and some other African cultures. To call certain people by their personal names in these cultures is not only disrespectful but also a sign that they have no honor to merit the respect that goes with not calling their names. The terms studied here are also often used strategically on people who are not, for instance, mothers/fathers of twins or who may just well be strangers or first time acquaintances.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Chair English Linguistics
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Chair English Linguistics > Chair English Linguistics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Mühleisen
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 400 Language > 400 Language
400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 420 English, Old English languages
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2019 09:08
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2019 09:08
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/53170