A Pragmatic Study of English Honorific Forms

  • Sabah Sleibi AL-Rawi
  • Daniah Abdul Ameer Al-Assam (MA.Student)
Keywords: Honorifics ,politeness , Shaw's play


         It is axiomatic that languages mirror  the world view of their users. Manipulating honorific forms  among people inevitably reflects this truth . Honorifics are conventionalized forms or expressions  manifested in all the world's languages and  are used to  express the social status of the participants in the verbal interaction and to convey indications like politeness and respect  . English is no exception. However the question is what exactly creates these forms and their meanings. Although  honorifics have been extensively researched from a grammatical and semantic  angle  , yet they haven’t received that significant  attention  in pragmatic research, especially their use in literary works .Thus, this qualitative paper aims at clarifying the main linguistic devices that represent English honorific forms  and investigating the main functions and the pragmatic meanings that these forms can express. Based on eight extracts  taken from George Bernard Shaw's play "Caesar and Cleopatra  , the present study examines the use of honorific forms   with much focus on the pragmatic strategies deployed in creating their meaning . The findings of the study reveals that context is the most important and effective factor in creating, using, and interpreting honorifics.

Author Biography

Daniah Abdul Ameer Al-Assam, (MA.Student)

Daniah Abdul Ameer Al-Assam is an M.A candidate at the Department of English/ College of Languages/ University of Baghdad.            

Email: [email protected]


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How to Cite
AL-Rawi, S., & Al-Assam, D. (2018). A Pragmatic Study of English Honorific Forms. Journal of the College of Languages, (38), 1-27. Retrieved from http://jcolang.uobaghdad.edu.iq/index.php/JCL/article/view/106