Language, Status, And Power In Iran

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"... excellent example... significant contribution... an important interdisciplinary work... " —Middle East Journal

"... an important contribution to aspects of Iranian social communication and interpersonal verbal behavior." —Language

By showing the reader the intricacies of face-to-face sociolinguistic interaction, William Beeman provides a key to understanding Iranian social and political life. Beeman's study in cross-cultural linguistics will clearly be a model for the study of different languages and cultures.

Indiana University Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253331397
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1986
  • Series: Advances in Semiotics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents


Meaning in Linguistics and Anthropology
Deixis and the Interpretaition of Meaning
Appropriateness and Effectiveness
Iranian Basic Schemas
Style in Cultural Communication
Iranian Interaction Semantics
Language and Magic

II. The Management of Messages
Components of Speech
Uncertainty and Insecurity in Iranian Life
The Clever Dissimulator
Whom Do You Trust?
The Changing Ethic of Message Management

III. The Mangagement of Interactional
Parameters: People
Perception, Attention, and Status in Interpersonal Interaction
Dimensions of Exchange in Iranian Interaction
Relations of Equality: Dowreh and Partibazi
Relations of Inequality-Hierarchy and Ta’arof
The Strategic Huse of Ta’arof-Getting the Lower Hand
Partibazi and Ta’arof: Some Final Comparisons

IV. The Marking of Parameters: Events
The Problem of Context
Dimensions of Iranian Contextualization
The Iranian Basic Schema
Transformations of the Basic Schema

V. Persian Socio-Phonology
The Persian Phonemic System: Standard Style
Stylistic Differences in Standard Persian
Stylistic Variation-The Consonantal System
Implicational Scaling in Stylistic Variation
Sound Variation in Social Context
Redundancy and Sound Reduction in Persian
Reducdancy in Interaction in Sound Reduction
Sylistic Variation The Vowel System
Arabic versus Persian
Systemic Proceses and Stylistic
Variation-A Summary

VI. Persian Socio-Morphology
Morphological Variation
The Elements of the Persian Ver: A conventional description
The Pronoun System
Sylistic Requirements within the Morphological Systems
The Language of Ta’arof
The Singular/Plural Distinction as an Indicator of Status
Meaning and the Language of Ta’arof
A Note on Superior-Inferior Address
The Language of Samimiat
The Language of Zerangi

VII. The SOcio-Syntax of Iranian Interaction
Purposive Use of Stylistic Variation
A Problem in Operational Function: The Use of the Imparative of Farmudan
Other Commmunicational Operators
Pattern Configuration

VIII. Conclusion: The Aesthetics of Iranian
Verbal Interaction
Speaker Skills-A Review
The Bases of Aesthetics in Interaction
Notes on the Aesthetics of Irania Humor
The Aesthetics of Revolutionary Rhetoric
Language and Magic-A Final Note


Indiana University Press

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002

    Required Reading for the U. S. State Department

    This is such a smart, savvy book. It is a little heavy going when dealing with the sound system of Persian, but anyone who wants to understand Iran in all its complexity needs to read this. This applies especially to our government, where everyone seems to think that Iranians are beyond the pale. One comes away with such deep interest in this rich Iranian culture, an appreciation for the abilities of Iranians to deal with a highly variable and changing political landscape, and a desire to go learn this facinating language, which has such nuanced ability to express human relationships. The astonishing thing is that this book, written in 1986, is as fresh as yesterday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2000

    Language, Status, and Power in Iran

    I was looking for a book to help me understand Iran, and a friend told me this was he best book ever written on Iranian culture. They were so right! Although this book deals with language, Professor Beeman seems to be able to look right into the Iranian soul. Politeness, politics, status and social relations are all part of the ways Iranians relate to each other, and it is all coded through the artistic and creative use of langauge. Anyone with an interest in Iran or Middle Eastern culture should own this work. It is a classic!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2000

    Language, Status, and Power in Iran

    This looks at first glance like a book about language, but you soon find out that it encompasses everything important about Iranian culture. As an Iranian-American I found the author's insights amazing. I was nodding my head and laughing continually.

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