Introduction to linguistics



They may express identity as well as the refinement, power and solidarity of those in communication. These are concepts that most sociolinguists are in agreement with based on studies that have been conducted on diverse populations. Address terms have been found common in greeting and addressing of persons within a social structure. There is agreement that the address terms have a significant role. This write-up seeks to explore how address terms vary with the socio strata and its significance in routine communication. Kinship, age and sex have been isolated as key variables that set hierarchal relations between interacting parties (Salifu, 2010: Yen Tran, 2010). Kinship attributes privileges and rights to one set of men in comparison to others. Older persons are perceived to have higher status than younger persons. These hierarchal tendencies can be traced to social cultural institutions and practices that include linguistic forms and behaviour. There is, therefore, need to learn acceptable modes of address and to refer to diversity of relationships as part of socialization (Salifu, 2010). According to Salifu (2010), seniority commands prestige, respect and positive self-image, whereas state commands respect and deference. An older person or one of higher status is speech with reference to his qualification. Chakara (1982) suggested that tone and style of any conversation is marked by the summons, greetings and forms of address which act as social selectors and controllers of interactions. The choices of social deixis chosen by a speaker depict relationship.