Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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  • Greeting and leave-taking in Texas

    Perception of politeness norms by Mexican-Americans across sociolinguistic divides

  • Author(s): Jeff Michno 1
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    1 The University of Texas at Austin
  • Source: Spanish in Context, Volume 14, Issue 1, Jan 2017, p. 1 - 27
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/sic.14.1.01mic
    • Received: 05 Aug 2014
    • Accepted: 20 Oct 2015
    • Version of Record published : 10 Apr 2017


The present study reveals how 16 Mexican-Americans residing in Texas perceive and follow politeness norms (e.g. Brown and Levinson 1987 ; Locher and Watts 2005 ; Scollon and Scollon 2001 ) related to greetings and leave-takings in different cultural and linguistic contexts. Data from online questionnaires identify a significant difference in perceived level of social expectation (i.e. politeness) for employing the speech acts with Spanish- versus non-Spanish speakers. The data support previous research in identifying a sense of solidarity among Mexican-American extended families, but also suggest that this bond extends to other Spanish-speaking acquaintances. Better understanding of these norms should facilitate inter-cultural exchanges between linguistic in- and out-group members.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bilingualism; greetings and leave-takings; politeness
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