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Intercultural Pragmatics

Editor-in-Chief: Kecskes, Istvan

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1613-365X
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Volume 9, Issue 4 (Nov 2012)

Issues

Politeness in the Holy Quran: A sociolinguistic and pragmatic perspective

Professor Mahmoud A. Al-Khatib,
Published Online: 2012-11-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2012-0027

Abstract

This study investigates politeness in the Holy Quran from a socio-pragmatic perspective. Drawing on politeness theory, we examine the text-building mechanisms and functions of a large number of chapters and verses selected from the Holy Quran. Data is analyzed in terms of both Brown and Levinson's theory of politeness and Leech's maxims of politeness. These two theoretical frameworks have been, so far, attested against data collected from various sources, but no single study has yet used data from any of the Holy books. This paper addresses this issue in light of data drawn from the Holy Quran. The data were analyzed in two main parts: The first included the verses that are concerned with the God-man relationship and the second with the man-man (i.e., interpersonal) relationship. By analyzing the structural and functional features of the verses, the study found a range of various politeness strategies employed for conveying a huge number of divine ethical messages. The study concludes that such a variety of politeness strategies relates strongly to the type of information being conveyed to the addressees. From a theoretical perspective, this paper contributes to the discussions of God-man communication and man-man communication in relation to the negotiation of politeness meaning in the context of religion. The findings presented here bear on orientations toward the importance of studying politeness as a socio-pragmatic phenomenon in relation to religion and morality.

About the article

Professor Mahmoud A. Al-Khatib,

Mahmoud A. Al-Khatib is a Professor of English and Linguistics and Chair of the Department of English & Linguistics at Jordan University of Science & Technology. He received his PhD from Durham University in England. His area of specialization is sociolinguistics, but he is also interested in pragmatics, discourse analysis, and bilingualism. His work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals. He has edited (as a guest editor) two special Arab issues of Language, Culture, and Curriculum (Vol. 13:2, 2000), and International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Vol. 9:1, 2006).


Published Online: 2012-11-07

Published in Print: 2012-11-27


Citation Information: , ISSN (Online) 1613-365X, ISSN (Print) 1612-295X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2012-0027.

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©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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