Politeness in Hindi and Persian: A Contrastive Sociolinguistic Study

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Volume 6-2 June 2010. | Home |

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Politeness in Hindi and Persian: A Contrastive 

Sociolinguistic Study


Laila Samavarchi (M.A. student) 

Yazd University, Iran

Hamid Allami (Ph.D.)

Yazd University, Iran

Hassan Samavarchi (Ph.D.)

Yazd University, Iran


Bio data

Laila Samavarchi, M.A. student at Yazd University in Iran. She has graduated in Bcom from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. She is currently teaching as a language teacher at Iran Language Institute.

Hamid Allami, Assistant Professor, Yazd University, Iran. His major areas of interests for research and speech act theories, acquisitional pragmatics and human theories.

Hassan Samavarchi, assistant professor at Yazd University, Iran. He is currently teaching in the computer science department.


This paper analyzes the politeness distinction in the use of second person pronouns in these two languages, Hindi and Persian. The 2 second person pronouns in Persian and the 3 second person pronouns in Hindi have been compared and contrasted to see whether the pronouns in the two languages have a one-to-one correspondence regarding their usages. Hence, 24 participants (10 male and 14 female) were given a 40-item questionnaire in which they were asked to state their choice of pronoun while speaking to different people in different contexts. Also, it was intended to find out if sex and age have any relationship with politeness distinction. To this end, descriptive statistics were carried out which showed a lack of one-to-one correspondence between pronouns in these languages. MANOVA results indicate a significant difference between males and females but no difference between different age groups.

Key words: Politeness, Second person pronouns, Gender.

Category: 2010