More Than Mere Linguistics Tricks: The Socio-pragmatic Functions of Shona Nicknames Used by Shona-Speaking People in Harare
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The article demonstrate how urban Shona- speakers often use nicknames as linguistics resources to perform a variety of social functions in everyday informal interactions. The intention of this article is twofold: to contribute to research on African nicknaming, often limited to nicknaming as mere verbal play, by illustrating their communicative utility and to present the common functions nicknames fufill in particular relationships and situations. The data reveal that Shona nicknaming occures in a wide array of relationships and age groups, although it happens more frequently among males than females. The forms nicknames take and nicknaming patterns depend on the social distance between the participants, their relative social status, the context of nicknaming and the speaker's intention. The data for this article come from (a) field noted from participant observations taken of naturally occurring in public and private spheres over a period of one year (from September 2003 to September 2004) in and around the city of Harare and (b)transcriptions of semi-structured indepth interviews conducted with 60 Shona native speakers of varying age, gender, social status, occupations and religious affiliation.
Additional Citation InformationMashiri, Pedzisai."More Than Mere Linguistics Tricks: The Socio-pragmatic Functions of Shona Nicknames Used by Shona-Speaking People in Harare". Zambezia 31.1(2002):22-45.
University of Zimbabwe