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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Directives in Sinhala: An investigation of directive use in a Buddhist temple setting
by Fedricks, Krishantha Gemunu Kumara, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2012, 115; 1520862
Abstract (Summary)

Directive usage in various speech communities has been one of the core areas of recent research in linguistic anthropology. Most studies claim that beyond their communicative functions, directives also index individuals' cultural identities and social relations. This study investigates directive usage among Sinhala speakers in a Buddhist temple in the United States in order to explore how Sinhalese index perceived social relationships and politeness judgments through language use.

This study found that the range of directives used in a temple setting reflects contextual and cultural norms of the community of practice. They also index the existing social identities such as gender and participants' social status as a priest or layperson.

This study further concludes that practices of politeness and collaborative commitments have been the key defining factor of directive usage of Sinhalese, formed by both indirect verbal and non-verbal constructions along with the close proximity of bodily alignments and eye gaze patterns.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Klein, Wendy
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 51/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, South Asian Studies
Publication Number: 1520862
ISBN: 978-1-267-70259-3
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