The Use of Address Terms in the City of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Bin Towairesh, Abdullah (2012). The Use of Address Terms in the City of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia PhD Thesis, School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Bin Towairesh, Abdullah
Thesis Title The Use of Address Terms in the City of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-07
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Ilana Mushin
Mary Laughren
Total pages 275
Total colour pages 1
Total black and white pages 274
Language eng
Subjects 2004 Linguistics
200405 Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics)
160103 Linguistic Anthropology
200403 Discourse and Pragmatics
Formatted abstract
This study examines the use of address terms in different situations in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the way these terms are used in relation to the social context. The data used in this study was collected through questionnaires, focus groups, the observation of natural data, and the analysis of a local Saudi TV show. Some of the address variations that this study investigates include: gender-based differences, age-based differences and social status-based differences. The use of address terms in different settings (including the home environment, the workplace and the neighbourhood) has also been examined in an effort to produce a comprehensive map of the address system in the city of Riyadh.

In this study, it is argued that five different factors influence the use and choice of address terms. These factors are the age and gender of both the speaker and the addressee, the social status of the addressee, social distance (including familiarity) and the address situation (the circumstances surrounding the address instance). The main focus of this study, however, is on the age, gender and social status factors because of the culture-specific nature of these factors in Riyadh society.

In every society, address practices and categories usually mirror aspects of social organization and cultural priorities. Thus, this study helps in understanding the social structure of Saudi Society and the way in which its members interact with each other. This study also contributes to the process of creating a clearer picture of the sociolinguistic situation in Saudi Arabia and can be the basis for future studies in pragmatics and in social organization on that region.
Keyword Address terms
Address pronouns
Address inversion
Language and gender
Language and culture
Saudi society

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Created: Wed, 10 Apr 2013, 20:39:40 EST by Mr Abdullah Bin Towairesh on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service