A Pragmatic Study of English Honorific Forms
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.
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