1887

n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - A critical analysis of 'face'-managing factors in isiZulu idioms : original research

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2279

 

Abstract

People have an inherent need to communicate. They communicate out of need as well as for leisure. Human speech abounds with unpleasant and undesirable statements that could embarrass and even humiliate those spoken to or oneself. Brown and Levinson assert that unpleasant and undesirable statements have the potential to threaten the 'face' or self-esteem of the other person or persons. They define 'face' as the public self-image that every member of society wants to claim for themself. Simply put, 'facework' refers to ways people cooperatively attempt to promote both the other's and their own sense of self-esteem in a conversation. As linguistic speech forms, idioms perform a variety of functions in a language. Not only do they make speech more colourful, but they also perform a communicative function in that they tend to soften the embarrassment and humiliation that often accompanies unpleasant and undesirable statements in speech. IsiZulu idioms will be examined in this article to establish to what extent they could contribute to managing 'face' issues. Examples of idioms will be drawn from C.L.S. Nyembezi and O.E.H. Nxumalo's work Inqolobane Yesizwe. The facework theory as espoused by Brown and Levinson will underpin this discussion on isiZulu idioms.

Die behoefte aan kommunikasie is eie aan alle mense. Mense kommunikeer sowel uit noodsaak as vir ontspanning. Kommunikasie bevat dikwels onaangename en ongewenste stellings wat verleentheid skep vir die ontvangers en wat hulle selfs kan verneder. Brown en Levinsonstel dat sulke onaangename en ongewenste stellings die vermoë het om die aansien ('face') ofselfrespek van die ander persoon te bedreig. Hulle definieer aansien ('face') as die openbare selfbeeld wat elke lid van 'n samelewing vir hom- of haarself opeis. Eenvoudiger gestel, verwys die term 'aansienkwessies' ('facework') na die maniere waarop mense saamwerk in'n poging om sowel die eie as die ander se sin vir selfrespek te bevorder in 'n gesprek. As linguistiese uitingsvorme vervul idiome 'n verskeidenheid funksies in enige taal. Hulle maak nie net die taal kleurryker nie, maar vervul ook 'n kommunikatiewe funksie in dié sin dathulle die gevoelens van verleentheid en vernedering kan versag wat dikwels deel uitmaak van onaangename en ongewenste stellings in gesproke taal. In hierdie artikel sal Zoeloeidiome onder die loep geneem word om vas te stel tot watter mate hulle kan bydra tot die hantering van aansienkwessies. Voorbeelde van idiome is afkomstig uit C.L.S. Nyembesi en O.E.H. Nxumalo se werk Inqolobane Yesizwe. Die aansienkwessieteorie soos uiteengesit deurBrown en Levinson sal die raamwerk vorm vir hierdie bespreking van die Zoeloe-idiome.

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/content/literat/36/1/EJC181554
2015-01-01
2016-12-09

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