Greeting and leave-taking in Texas : perception of politeness norms by Mexican-Americans across sociolinguistic divides
The present study sheds light on how 16 Mexican-Americans residing in Texas perceive and follow politeness norms (e.g., Brown & Levinson, 1987; Fraser, 1990; Terkourafi, 2005) related to greetings and leave-takings in different cultural and linguistic contexts. Data from online questionnaires identify a significant difference in perceived level of social expectation (i.e. politeness) for employing the speech acts with Spanish- versus non-Spanish speakers. The data support previous research in identifying a sense of solidarity among Mexican-American extended families, but go further in suggesting that this bond extends to other Spanish-speaking acquaintances. Better understanding of these norms should facilitate inter-cultural exchanges between linguistic in- and out-group members.