Politeness Principle and Ilorin Greetings in Nigeria: A Sociolinguistic Study

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Federal University, Nigeria

Abstract

This essay examines greetings as one of the elements of politeness in a Nigerian community and how it influences the cultural characteristics of the people. To analyze, this essay makes use of speech act theory and politeness principle and also considers the pragmatic context in analyzing different types of greetings such as condolences, departure and arrival, rejoicing, daily greetings, casual greetings, and seasonal or festivity greetings. The paper finds among others that ‘greeting’ is part of the culture of Ilorin people, and the failure to comply is an aberration. It does not only create warmth, but establishes relationships which go a long way in cementing communality. The paper concludes that Ilorin greetings are embedded in and constrained by cognition, social principles of communication, and the contexts of use. Little wonder why Ilorin greetings may come as carefully chosen, catchy, and precise words which are not without religious colorations.

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