An Analysis of Politeness Strategies in Gikuyu: A Case of Thika Sub-County, Kenya.
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This study looked at politeness strategies in Gikuyu. The study identified and described the politeness strategies used by the Gikuyu in business settings. To this end, it looked at how gender and setting influence politeness strategies. The study found that Gikuyu speakers do use politeness strategies in order to save their partner’s faces. It also established that politeness strategies in Gikuyu can be accounted for using Brown and Levinson’s model of politeness. Data was collected in Thika Sub-county in Kiambu County, Kenya, from two types of business premises; namely the clothes market and boutique. The data was in the form of recorded conversations between the business people and their customers. Observations were made to cater for the forms of non-verbal communication such as handshakes. Data was then transcribed and different realizations of politeness strategies were identified and described. These included terms of address and declining politely among others. The study used the descriptive research design to analyze both the verbal and non-verbal politeness strategies. Setting and gender were seen to influence the use of politeness strategy such that some politeness strategies can only be used by male to a male and not from a male to a female. As for the setting, it was discovered that politeness strategies used depended on the context. Some politeness strategies were only used in certain contexts and not in others. It is recommended that the politeness strategies identified be included in the writing of business journals in order to enlighten the business people on ways of increasing profit.