Age and gender in Iranian ‘taaroff’ politeness system
This paper focuses on the Iranian taaroff politeness system. We report a quantitative analysis of the attitudes to taaroff held by 60 Iranians (30 women and 30 men) of two age groups (20–29 and 40–59 years old) and their use of formulaic taaroff expressions in conversations. The data come from dialogues elicited from the participants in Iran via short scripted scenarios and from their answers to a questionnaire survey about their attitudes to taaroff. Taaroff expressions were manually extracted from the dialogue transcripts and their overall use as well as frequencies of each expression were compared across the gender and age groups with the help of t-tests. The participants’ answers to the survey questions were compared across the groups with Kruskal-Wallis H tests. The results show statistically significant differences in the participants’ attitudes to taaroff and in its use in dialogues by gender and age group.
Keywords: age, gender, politeness, Persian (Farsi), taaroff
Published online: 08 March 2021
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