Politeness and offering in Libyan Arabic hospitality

MANSOR, Fatheh Alsenoussi (2017). Politeness and offering in Libyan Arabic hospitality. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00053


This study examines the nature and sequencing of offering and receiving hospitality in Libyan society and discusses the extent to which offers and refusals are conventionalized in Libyan Arabic language. I investigate the attitudes, beliefs and ideologies behind this conventional Libyan Arabic linguistic practice. The study looks particularly at Libyan Arabic people in relation to their day-to-day hospitality interchanges. Within this, I examine the different types of Libyan Arabic offer sequences and the sociolinguistic factors that account for their form and structure. Several existing studies focus on how offering speech acts are employed to promote or maintain social harmony during interactions; for example: Alaoui (2011) and Emery (2000). However, to my knowledge, no work has analysed longer stretches of Libyan Arabic offering interactions to see how Libyan hospitality interactions are significantly influenced by the cultural beliefs, attitudes and ideologies derived from Islamic teachings and Arabic traditions. My work is also unique in focusing on offering, refusing and insisting interactions. For this study, I analyse the data using a mixed qualitative methods approach: (focus group, interviews, and naturally occurring data). The variety of data examined in Libyan Arabic language makes the results obtained through this study of greater value. However, this is not to argue that a given language or cultural community is homogeneous, nor that generalisations about the behaviour of sequencing, offering and receiving hospitality can be made for all Arab cultures. To analyse the data, I chose a combined approach Spencer-Oatey’s (2000, 2008) rapport management model and a discursive approach to politeness. This offers an opportunity to study interpersonal relations, by going beyond linguistic strategies as responses to face threatening/enhancing acts, to study how social relationships are constructed, maintained or threaten rapport during interactions. In my analysis, I suggest that the degree of intimacy between the interactants, gender, the context of the situation, and religion are important factors in the structuring of offering hospitality, which denote the social competency of their interlocutors to establish identity and affirm solidarity. This thesis shows that the interactional moves of offering hospitality (insisting and refusing) are ritualized and conventionalized behaviour. This may be because at an ideological level there is significant stress on hospitality as a dominant principle of daily life among Libyans. Hence, Libyan Arabic speakers tend to privilege association rights and obligations over equity rights. Although the basic elements appear in hospitality sequences in many offering interactions, the sociality rights and obligations differ according to the contextual factors and the situational circumstances thus the way those sequences are interpreted and considered appropriate differs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Grainger, Karen [0000-0001-9379-4361]
Additional Information: Director of Studies: Dr. Karen Grainger
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00053
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2018 16:32
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:04
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18150

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