Site Loader
Rock Street, San Francisco

Nigeria is a nation
with so many languages, a nation which talks more than 513 dialects and carries
out whatever is required of them that has to do with culture (Eka 2000). This
socially differing stance of Nigeria makes it simple for comparable indications
of courteousness at the different levels and types of human communications by
the general population of the different socio-social gatherings. The signs of
graciousness alluded here, could either be verbal or non-verbal.  From the viewpoint of verbal manifestations,
we have greetings, terms of address, use of honorific, indirectness, use of
“can”, “would”, use and repetition of “please”,  hedges, undue apologies, use of pre-sequences
to minimize imposition, phrasing expressions as questions  rather than assertions and statements
(Jowitt, 2005), and choice of even how to make requests. With regard to
nonverbal manifestations, we have gestures, eye contacts and movement, use of
right or left or both hands, etc.

Over the different
social groups in Nigeria, there is no arrangement for convenience from a
youngster to a more elderly person a face threatening act (FTAs), as this would
be glared at and thought about as abnormality or something forbidden. In any
case, then again, the more established or socially prevalent individual may
undermine the substance of a subordinate without much space for review by the
beneficiary more often than not, for this situation, the subordinate. For any
Nigerian, the idea politeness can’t be disengaged from social and social
traditions. This elucidation is reinforced by Nanda (1984, p.115) who reaffirms
that: Language accomplishes something beyond reflecting culture. It is the
manner by which the individual is acquainted with the request of physical and
social condition.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

 The Nigerian child learns to appreciate the
speech tradition of its people as an essential substance for survival and
acceptance. For instance, a child in Nigeria across all the ethnic formations
is meant to be seen and not heard, a woman’s role is spelt out, the norms of
addressing are clearly defined. These are some of the aspects of socialization
that control the Nigerian world-view and a Nigerian child on his part grows up
to accept them as his global aggregate of understanding of what politeness

(elderly and young).
According to Olaniyi (2017), people who are aged are expected to be highly
respected. He went further to show key distinction in the greetings of both the
aged and the young in Yoruba; a major ethnic group in Nigeria. He states that
this key difference is in the use of pronominals. The pronominal /?u/ and /é/ are
interchangeably used for both young and aged, respectively. Below is an example:

Mr. A. (Old): Epèlé

Mr. A. (Young): Pèlé

The differentiation
amid the two words above is in the removal of the “E” to pèlé while the initial
/?/ is added to the greeting of an elder. This aligns with Lakoff’s (1987)
thought that the suitable politeness rule is a key aspect in a cooperative

Also related to
greeting, Eka (2000, p.35) stated that “the Sapir- Whorf hypothesis is quite
valid in the Nigeria (English) situation. The linguistic variability is immense
For instance if someone is engaged in a piece of work, Nigerians from many
linguistic groups will say things which may be interpreted thus – you have done
well’, ‘You doing well’, I recognize your effort’, I greet you ‘or’ ‘well

The above however shows
the degree to which politeness strategies are evident in the cultures of a
variety of groups in Nigeria.  Obinus
(2015) stated that it is in the character of a lot of Nigerians to make use of,
and reiterate titles and honorifics at both opening and ending of statements in
order to exhibit politeness. It is very common to hear addresses such as  “ma, sir, Mr. & Mrs., uncle, madam, oga,
aunty, His Excellency, Her Royal Highness, Doctor, honourable” In a Nigerian’s
conversation; mostly among two individuals from/of diverse social status . The
one with the lower social status says the the titles of the elite individual
over and over again.

Unlike the Americans
and British people, in Nigeria’s culture, it is seen as ill-mannered and very
disrespectful to use the bare names of the elderly people, therefore reflecting
this cultural character of Nigerians’ expression of politeness in the manner in
which they use English.  Below is an

Post Author: admin


I'm Dora!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out