Diacronia 1, January 13, 2015, art. A4 (p. 1–23)

Conventional vs unconventional linguistic means of address. (Old and new greetings in Romanian)

Daiana Felecan


Faculty of Letters, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, North University Centre, Str. Victoriei 76, 430122 Baia Mare, Romania


Received April 30, 2014
Accepted July 2, 2014
Published January 13, 2015

Key words

language contact
lexical borrowing


[...] there is a competence, a saber that refers to talking in given situations and about certain things, with certain interlocutors. It is what we say — with a negative connotation — when we realise that what we speak does not observe the norms, when we say that we are incapable of writing a letter to express our condolences, namely to create such a text, or when a madam calls it to our attention: “That’s no way to talk to a lady!” (Coșeriu, 1992–1993, p. 36, orig. Romanian)

The refusal to greet or to reply to the initiation phrase received as a gift does not mean you destroy something from your interlocutor’s figure, but it is as if you gave up on yourself, or removed your humanity system, or cursed your parents. It is as if you gave in to your instincts, or had your profile cloned after the image of Ionescu’s rhinoceros.


Among the linguistic mechanisms that individuals employ in the process of communication, one can also find means of address. Of these, an important role is played by greetings.

This study is aimed at identifying a series of forms / formulas of greeting used in contemporary Romanian public space and analysing them from a structural and functional perspective (with reference to their contextual pragmatic values). Alongside established (grammaticalised / clichéd) units, other forms will be recorded, conveying new semantic values that are determined by situational constraints.

Thus, a distinction will be made between two linguistic means of greeting: conventional ones (stylistically neutral and used by the entire community of locutors) and unconventional ones (recent imports, mostly in English, calques, which recreate the original pattern or are borrowed from the source language without any changes and are employed with an ironic or persuasive intention).

The corpus will be taken from the Internet.

Methodologically, the study will use the theoretical apparatus pertaining to psycho- and sociolinguistics, pragmatics, ethnology, and anthropology.


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    Text:Felecan, D. (2015). Conventional vs unconventional linguistic means of address. (Old and new greetings in Romanian), Diacronia 1 (January 13), A4 (1–23),
     author = {Daiana Felecan},
     title = {Conventional vs unconventional linguistic means of address. (Old and new greetings in Romanian)},
     journal = {Diacronia},
     ISSN = {2393-1140},
     year = {2015},
     month = {January},
     number = {1},
     eid = {A4},
     doi = {},
     pages = "(1–23)",
     url = {}


© 2015 The Authors. Publishing rights belong to the Journal. The article is freely accessible under the terms and conditions of the CC-BY Open Access licence.

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