Politeness in language use in Tswana Kgotla meetings
Kari, Ethelbert E.
PublisherThe Joongwon Linguistic Society of Korea, http://eng.jwl.or.kr/
RightsIt is available under open access
Rights holderThe Joongwon Linguistic Society of Korea
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This paper focuses on politeness in language use in kgotla meetings among the Tswana ethnic groups of Balete, Bangwato and Bakhurutshe. It investigates how interlocutors’ use of language reflects social behaviour and how it relates to the conventions of interaction, such as openings and closings and other typical features of meetings, in kgotla meetings. The data in this paper was obtained from video recordings and interviews and was qualitatively analysed based on the communities of practice (CofP) approach (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet, 1992) and on Watts’ (2003) view of politeness. The results indicate that polite behaviour occurs both linguistically and non-linguistically during interactions and is enacted according to the norms of Tswana ethnic culture. Furthermore, the results indicate that the use of figurative language is evident in the interlocutors’ discourse. The paper concludes that interactions in kgotla meetings show polite behaviour, and that interactions in a socio-cultural context are largely dependent on various factors that affect the interlocutors’ use of language.