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Categories of address forms in Pakistani English at a multilingual academic setting

Muhammad Arif Soomro, T.V. Larina

UDC 811.111(549.1)`24          


Muhammad Arif Soomro,

PhD student of the Foreign Languages Department

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia;

Associate Professor of the English Department

Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology

(Nawabshah-Sindh, Pakistan)




Larina Tatiana V.,

Doctor of Philology, Professor of the Foreign Languages Department

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia




The variations of address forms in multilingual and multicultural contexts create problems in their understanding, proper choice, and usage. The goal of this study is to identify the main categories of forms of address used by students and teachers in multilingual Pakistani universities and to highlight the socio-cultural factors that determine their choice and preference in various contexts, both formal and informal. An open-ended questionnaire was distributed for data collection in four public sector universities in the Sindh province of Pakistan. The material obtained from 252 participants was supplemented and verified through ethnographic observation and analyzed employing both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms. The preliminary results show that in multilingual academic settings, Pakistani interlocutors use a variety of categories of address forms with the domineering position of names and kinship terms. Speaking Pakistani English, they use both English and local terms of address borrowed from Sindhi, Urdu, and other local languages to express their cultural values, identity, and attitudes. The findings show that English forms of address are predominantly used in formal contexts while native terms are mostly observed in informal ones. The study provides some new linguistic facts about the impact of culture on address forms. Its results may contribute to further investigation of address forms from socio-pragmatic and cultural perspectives.

Keywords: address forms, multilinguals, cultural values, academic discourse, Pakistani English.



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The work has been supported by the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Scientific Projects Grant System (project No. 050734-2-000 “Intercultural communication in the context of globalization, migration and language contacts”).