The social semiotics of funerary rites in IranInternational Journal of Language Studies (2013)
Speech acts find occasion in two different contexts: (a) interpersonal, and (b) social. While the aim of speech acts produced in the former context is to create a communicative effect, the speech acts produced in the latter context aim at creating a social effect. Building on a seminal work done by Capone (2010), this study addressed funerary rites in the Shiite population of Iran. This paper reports the results of the study and classifies the speech acts produced in Shia funerary rites into three classes of speech: (a) language addressed to Allah, (b) language addressed to the deceased, and (c) language addressed to the grieved relatives of the deceased. Samples of speech in any of these situations are provided and analyzed within the framework of conventional speech acts and pragmemes. Comparing Shia funerary rites and Catholic death rituals, the paper concludes that funerary rites function on two planes: (a) the psychological plane that aims at providing solace for the grieved relatives of the deceased, and (b) the social plane that aims at enhancing collective social intentionality.
Publication DateWinter January 1, 2013
Citation InformationSalmani Nodoushan, M. A. (2013). The social semiotics of funerary rites in Iran. International Journal of Language Studies, 7(1), 79-102.