Semantic formulas for expressing condolences in the Macedonian language: an intercultural study

Janusheva, Violeta and Neshkovska, Silvana (2018) Semantic formulas for expressing condolences in the Macedonian language: an intercultural study. European Journal of Literature, Language and Linguistics Studies, 2 (2). pp. 85-102. ISSN 2559 - 7914

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Expressing condolences is among the least frequently explored expressive speech acts. Just
like the other speech acts, it is culture specific, i.e. its realizations vary from culture to culture.
This particular paper pioneers the studying of the speech act of expressing condolences in the
Macedonian language and culture, and, logically, it draws heavily on the findings and
insights gained previously in other cultures, primarily Western (the English speaking
countries), but also some more exquisite Eastern ones (Iraqi, Persian, Malaysian, Iranian,
etc.). The aim of the study is to make an intercultural comparison and to investigate the
presence, or more precisely, the frequency with which the semantic formulas for expressing
condolences used in the abovementioned languages and cultures are used in the Macedonian
language and culture. In that context, attempts are made to disclose whether Macedonian
culture bears a greater similarity to the Western cultures or, perhaps, to the Eastern ones. The
research incorporates both a qualitative and quantitative paradigm. The chosen instrument
for compiling data is a structured Discourse Completion Task. Bearing in mind the
limitations of the DCT, the data from the DCT are compared with the acts of condolences
given to one of the author after her father has died in 2016. These data which are not
analyzed were identical with the one compiled with the DCT and serves as a confirmation of
the validity and reliability of the DCT. Analysis, synthesis and comparison of the results
obtained from previous research are the methods utilized for both processing the linguistic
corpus and reaching scientifically valid conclusions. The analysis shows that in the
Macedonian language and culture, just like in the other languages and cultures, there are
primary and secondary semantic formulas for expressing condolences. Some of the primary
semantic formulas appear to be typical only of the Macedonian native speakers, whereas
some resemble the ones used in Western cultures, and some are closer to the ones used in the
Islamic cultures. The study also bears evidence to the fact that in the Macedonian language,
the formality of the context and the social status of the interlocutors still influence the choice
of the semantic formulas for expressing condolences. Nevertheless, there are also some
indications that some of the semantic formulas are undergoing a process of generalization,
which practically endorses their usage in both formal and informal domains.
Keywords: speech act, condolences, Macedonian, intercultural comparison

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Scientific Fields (Frascati) > Humanities > Languages and literature
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Depositing User: Prof. d-r Silvana Neshkovska
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2023 15:03
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2023 15:03

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