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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2019

Politeness or buzitú ("respect") in Kikoongo (Laari)

Politesse ou buzitú "respect" en kikoongo(laari)


Politeness in Kikoongo (Laari) – a Bantu African language – is expressed by the word buzitú which semantically means “respect” . Thus, someone who is respectful is considered to be polite. The Koongo (Laari) community is arranged into strict hierarchy according to age, sex, social position, etc. Everyone maintains their position to preserve this harmony. Buzitú consists of a diligent observance of this hierarchy by various ways including verbal and non-verbal attitudes. Thus, address forms are systematically used to maintain balance. They originate in the matrilineal system where individual status is precisely defined. Verbal attitudes are also manifested by the use of honorific pronouns. Requests are expressed by direct and indirect constructions. However, the imperative is only tolerated with address forms . The aim of this chapter is to define politeness and its components in Kikoongo (Laari). Data have been taken as found in language texts, songs, internet videos, and observed phenomena of daily life. They also originate from observations of, and interviews with, Kikoongo (Laari) speakers. Ethnological aspects have been taken into consideration to underline the cultural representation of buzitú. Geoffrey Leech’s perspective (1983) which involves the politeness principle (PP) is used to explain deviant attitudes.


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Dates et versions

hal-02262277 , version 1 (02-08-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02262277 , version 1


Elise Solange Bagamboula. Politeness or buzitú ("respect") in Kikoongo (Laari). Pragmatic and Cross-Cultural Competences. Focus on Politeness, P.I.E Peter Lang, pp. 265-276, 2019, Pragmatic and Cross-Cultural Competences: Focus on Politeness. ⟨hal-02262277⟩


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