Politeness and Collective Identity: A Case Study of Two Endangered Languages of Arunachal Pradesh

  • Dimple Choudhury Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati (IIITG), India
  • Suranjana Barua Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati (IIITG), India
Keywords: politeness, language endangerment, critical discourse analysis, metapragmatics, collective identity


The study explores the phenomenon of politeness vis-à-vis collective identity in two indigenous languages of Arunachal Pradesh, India: Miju and Digaru. Through the differential use of discourse markers in various language settings, this paper examines politeness strategies used by the speakers of both languages to form inferences on the speakers’ worldview and social knowledge of their respective communities in different contexts. The intrinsic structure of the language of a community and its lucid usage construes politeness together with a society's socio-cultural principles. The socio-cultural characteristics fabricate the speakers' cognitive structure that formulates the phenomenon of politeness falling in with the language principles and boundaries. The current paper examines the production, projection and perception of politeness through discursive approach including inclusiveness/ exclusiveness strategies to understand natives’ perspective on collective identity as speakers of endangered languages themselves. Further, the study takes linguistic politeness as a meta-pragmatic entity and tries to explore this phenomenon in the Miju and Digaru languages from the native’s socio-cognitive understanding. In doing so, the paper appropriates Koller (2012), which, in introducing critical analytical parameters for analysing collective identity in discourse, talks about three levels of discourse – Macro-level, Meso-level, and Micro-level.

Author Biographies

Dimple Choudhury, Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati (IIITG), India

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati, Assam, India

Suranjana Barua, Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati (IIITG), India

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati (IIITG), Guwahati – 781015, Assam, India.


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