Article published in:Intercultural Pragmatics and Cultural Linguistics
Edited by Ulrike Schröder, Milene Mendes de Oliveira and Hans-Georg Wolf
[International Journal of Language and Culture 7:1] 2020
► pp. 104–120
Responding to dard-e-del (lit. pain of the heart) in Persian
Drawing on insights borrowed from Mey’s pragmatic act theory (2001) and Sharifian’s framework of Cultural Linguistics (2011, 2017a), this study attempts to explore the pragmemes associated with the speech act of responding to dard-e-del (lit. pain of the heart) in Persian and the cultural pragmatic schemas underlying them. Dard-e-del can be described as the verbal communication of suffering, sadness, or hardships to others, mainly for the purpose of discharging negative emotions, finding relief, and strengthening social bonds. This study argues that the language used by speakers of Persian to respond to dard-e-del can be categorized into three groups of pragmemes. Pragmemes, according to Mey (2010: 2884), are defined as “general situational prototypes of [pragmatic] acts that are capable of being executed in a particular situation or cluster of situations.” Besides, it is illustrated that the identified pragmemes cannot be correctly used and interpreted unless the interlocutors are aware of the cultural pragmatic schemas informing them. A cultural pragmatic schema is described as the (assumed) shared knowledge by members of a cultural group, which is reflected in different features of their language (Sharifian 2017a, 2017b). Data for the present study was collected from a number of online forums, where speakers of Persian communicate their dard-e-del to other users. As a cultural insider, the author has also drawn on personal observation and insights from some Persian literary works. Qualitative analysis of the data revealed that interlocutors mainly employ three pragmemes to respond to dard-e-del. These pragmemes include wishing to suffer instead of the sufferer, cursing the cause of suffering, and inviting the sufferer to submit to god’s will. Each pragmeme has the potential to be expressed in a variety of ways (practs), depending on the context. The speech act of responding to dard-e-del in Persian and the associated pragmemes and practs draw on the three cultural pragmatic schemas of ghorbâni, tavakkol , and nefrin , which have their roots in religion.
Keywords: dard-e-del , Cultural Linguistics, cultural pragmatic schema, pragmatic act theory, pragmemes, practs
Published online: 08 July 2020
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