Emerging Language Use Patterns among Male Football Viewers in Baringo County, Kenya
M'mbohi, Walter Mondela
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Over the last few decades, face and politeness have been among the most heavily debated notions in pragmatic and sociolinguistic research (Vilkki 2006). Researchers have also focused on politeness and its relationship to gender. From such studies, it has been argued that men always dominate the mixed conversations they are involved in and rarely observe rules of politeness. However such studies focused majorly on differences between men's language and women's language giving statistical tendencies of bothe genders. This study focused on men's use of language in social places where they are not constrained by the rules of formality, status, and profession. The research purposively sampled male football viewers in social places that show live broadcasts of football matches from the English premier league. Through audio recording and participant observation, the researcher used the social network approach (Milroy 1987) to collect recorded data of conversations among male football viewers in social places in Eldama Ravine town, Kenya. The data analysed proves that men's language in casual conversations has a pattern. The analysis shows that not all the men dominate and interrupt the conversations they are involved in. By use of the politeness theory (Brown and Levinson 1987) the study provides a quantitative analysis of the politeness strategies used in the conversations which shows that men use more of positive politeness strategies than negative politeness strategies. The study also gives a detailed qualitative analysis of the conversations to make conclusions on how men exploit linguistic structures to create, maintain and manage particular identities and stances. The qualitative analysis shows that men's choice of language in these conversations is motivated by the nature and purpose of the conversation, the context, the network strength and the desire to maintain their masculinity. The research, therefore, provides further insight into the way men use language in social contexts. It is therefore an application of Brown and Levinson's Politeness theory to men's conversations in social places.