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Modes of Greetings in Kashmri

Modes of Greetings in Kashmri

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Published by api-3756098
By Omkar N Koul
By Omkar N Koul

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Published by: api-3756098 on Oct 19, 2008
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03/18/2014

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Modes of Greetings in Kashmiri
Omkar N. Koul
Indian Institute of Language Studies
1. Introduction

Modes of greetings have an important place in the sociology of language. In every greeting situation, two persons come in contact in a particular ethnic situation, which is characterized by means of some paralinguistic features like gestures accompanied with certain statements. Kashmiri society comprises of two religious communities, Hindus and Muslims, who are involved in the day-to-day communication acts and patterns. Similar to the modes of address, the use of modes of greetings is largely determined by various situations and participants in the communication acts. Here we will briefly mention different types of greetings, and certain sociolinguistic variables which determine the use of greetings in Kashmiri.

2. Types of Greetings

There are two types of greetings in any language: verbal and non-verbal. Most of the time the greeting is incomplete without some kind of non-verbal behaviour implicit or explicit in the use of any mode of the greeting. It may be a nod, or a smile or a twinkle in the eye. Verbal greetings are not complete or effective in isolation unless they are accompanied with appropriate gestural expressions.

Non-verbal behaviour appears as an indispensable part of greeting that is often implied in the expression itself. For example,namaste \u2018I am bowing before you\u2019 denotes an activity of non\u2013verbal behaviour. Often the responses of various greeting formulas are fixed and stereotyped and clearly laid down in the books of etiquette.

Greeting expressions are not necessarily communication of information. Greeting expressions in most of the languages including Kashmiri consist of a kind of medical diagnosis, an inquiry about one\u2019s health as: va:ray chiva:? \u2018How are you?\u2019 The literal meaning of a greeting in most cases is completely irrelevant.

Greetings are not merely usages of adherence to certain norms and rules laid down by etiquettes. They are more than this (Mehrotra 1975:3). They are a kind of social rituals in which you generally say what the other person expects you to say.

2.1.
Gestural / Non -Verbal Greetings

Every culture has its own set of formalized greeting expressions and/or non-verbal greeting gestures like kissing, embracing, bowing, saluting with hand, hand shake, folding hands, prostration, touching feet etc.

2.2.
Predictability of Response

Greetings in Kashmiri from the point of view of predictability fall within two broad categories: closed and open. The closed greetings are those which have only one fixed response, where the predictability is cent percent. On the other hand, the open greetings can have more than one response. They have limited predictability. Examples of both types are given below.

2.2.1. Closed (Maximum predictability)
Relationship
Greeting
Fixed Response
Status equals:
namaska:r
namaska:r
namaste
namaste
Hindu to Muslim:
a:da:b(ar\ue000z)
a:da:b (ar\ue000z)
Muslim to Muslim: asla:m alaikum
va:laikum sala:m
Satus unequals :
namaska:r
namaska:r
ada:b (ar\ue000z)
ada:b (ar\ue000z)
asla:m alaikum
valaikum sala:m
2.2.2. Open (Limited predictability)
Relationship
Greeting
Alternative Response
Status equals:
va:ray chiva: ?
va:ray, toh\u2019 chiva: va:ray?
fine are-qm
fine you are-qm fine
\u2018Are you fine?\u2019
\u2018Fine. How are you?\u2019
Hindu to Muslim:
va:raya: ?
kh1\u0161 p?:t\u00c1h\u2019
fine-qm
happy manner/like
\u2018Are you fine?\u2019
\u2018Fine.\u2019
Muslim to Hindu: kh?:r\ue000y cha: ?
a:hans?: kh?:r\ue000y
fine-emp
yes-pol fine-emp
\u2018Are you fine?\u2019
\u2018Yes , I\u2019m fine.\u2019
Status unequals: k\u2019a:s?: va:raya:?
toh\u2019 chiva: va:ray?
what-pol fine-qm
you are-qm fine
\u2018Are you fine?\u2019
\u2018Are you fine?\u2019
tuh\ue000nz meharb?:ni:
your kindness
\u2018Your kindness.\u2019

k\u2019a: mahra: va:raya:? or zuv
what pol fine-qm sound health
How are you?

\u2018Be healthy!\u2019
dor kot\u00c1
h
strong knee
\u2018Be strong!\u2019
l?siv
live-pol
\u2018Live long!\u2019
d\u00c1\u2019ak\ue000 bod\u00c1
forehead big
\u2018Be lucky!\u2019
potr\ue000 ga:\u0161
children light
\u2018May you enjoy the pleasure of your children!\u2019 etc.

Notice that the alternative responses are of two types: formal and non-formal. The expressions used for alternative greetings may inquire about general well-being of the addressee, indicate respect towards the addressee, indicate affection, good wishes or blessings from elders for younger ones. More examples are given below:

Greeter

va:ray chiva: ?
fine are-2s/p
\u2018How are you?\u2019

Greetee
meharb?:ni:
kindness
\u2018(Due to your) kindness (I\u2019m fine).\u2019

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