Religious Expressions as Situation Bound Rituals in Iraqi Computer-Mediated Communication

Author: Rasha

Keywords: computer-mediated communication (Iraq), religion, pragmatics, politeness, speech acts, situation bound utterances


This study aims at exploring the linguistic habits of Iraqi Arab speakers and the situations wherein Iraqis invoke religion and the lexicon of Allah in their daily online communication. Throughout this work, it was sought to answer the question whether the religious belief of Iraqis is reflected in online chats Iraqi by involving situation-bound rituals in their CMC and the functions these expressions fulfil in this communication. Although computer-mediated communication lacks nonverbal behaviour and prosodic features support the speakers’ polite intention, many researchers assert that there are many resources whereby individuals can resort to in demonstrating their solidarity. The Methods is based on examining synchronic messages exchanged on WhatsApp and Viber in four groups with the participation of 99 participants in total whose age ranged from 15 to 70 years old, with different educational qualifications and religious orientations. Social distance between the participants varied from intimate to neutral, and large. Likewise, social rank ranged from equal footing to low-high relationships and high-low relationships. The setting involved different occasions such as congratulations, greetings, farewell, thanking, offering condolences as well as receiving bad news. The findings of this research have shown that Iraqi Arabic speakers incline to enhance the politeness of their message by involving religious vocabularies that take mostly the form of supplication. Besides, the religious lexicon stands as a form of etiquette that promotes the speakers’ and the addressee’s faces. FIt is hoped that this work would lead to further studies related to religious expressions across computer mediated communication.