Addressing the Audience: Gender Analysis

Lana Hudeček, Milica Mihaljević


The analysis focuses on ways of addressing the audience in Croatian. As the function of the address is to perform a social task, as opposed to conveying information, the role of the address is phatic, and it should follow communicative conventions. Significant considerations are politeness and correctness, as the addresser wants to address the addressee most politely. Some formulaic forms of address, such as dame i gospodo (‘ladies and gentleman’) create no problem. Still, the speaker often faces the problem of whether to use only the masculine noun or the feminine and masculine pair. Croa[1]tian has rich word-formation, so linguistic issues rarely occur, but pragmatic questions about using the feminine pair arise often. All nouns denoting a person and adjectives, pronouns, and some verbal forms which refer to them are gender[1]specific in Croatian. The corpus for the analysis consists of different texts from two Croatian corpora and the Internet. The address formulas usually have the following structure dragi/poštovani/cijenjeni (‘dear/respected/esteemed’) + ad[1]dressee. The cases when more coordinated noun phrases denote the same addressee are also analyzed.



addressing the audience, address term, feminine and masculine pairs, politeness, inaugural speeches

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