n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - The use of terms of address in the academic setting : a psycho-social perspective

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



As part of a larger study that examines the interface between linguistics and society, this paper investigates and describes the system of address terms as used by members of the University of Cape Coast, an academic setting. Though from intrusive observation of actual usage, interview and introspection, we discovered that nine categories of linguistic form comprised the repertoire of address of the subject, this paper utilizes four namely, titles, personal names, descriptive epithets and slogans. These were dictated generally by social indices such as interpersonal relationship, gender, status, and age within "a network of bonds and obligations" (Firth 1937:113). We also recognized the role of psychological factors such as self esteem, social respect, sense of achievement and identification in the use of the selected terms of address. The findings from this work have implications, among other things, for verbal behaviour among residents in an academic settings.

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