Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 10(1), pp. 1 - 9
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2022.100101
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An Exploration of the Concept of Face in Saudi Arabic Folk Expressions

Inas I. Almusallam *
Department of Humanities & Administrative Sciences, College of Applied Studies & Community Service, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


In recent years, there has been much debate about the concept of face. Some researchers call to consider face as an area of research on its own ‎[1], ‎[2]‎, [3], ‎[4]. The study investigates how the concept of face can be related to the Arab world through the exploration of the emic meanings of face as encoded in Saudi Arabic folk terms. The corpus includes 89 expressions collected using my knowledge of Arabic as a native speaker of the language through observation of authentic conversations, TV series and programs, Twitter, and Google. The analysis shows that although the concept of face in Saudi culture can be individual and situational, it is seen as an individual's or group's property that emerges overtime as the accumulative effect of previous interactions with the same individuals or other members of the groups they belong to. Face appears to be a valuable possession more oriented to in-group relationships rather than individual autonomy, and it is mainly enhanced by retaining group and cultural values such as collectivism, honour, and religion. The study aims to stimulate further investigation of the etic and emic conceptualization of face as well as contribute to the related continuing debate in pragmatics by exploring a novel culture in the field.

Arabic, Brown and Levinson, Collectivism, Face, Goffman, Group Face

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Inas I. Almusallam , "An Exploration of the Concept of Face in Saudi Arabic Folk Expressions," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 1 - 9, 2022. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2022.100101.

(b). APA Format:
Inas I. Almusallam (2022). An Exploration of the Concept of Face in Saudi Arabic Folk Expressions. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 10(1), 1 - 9. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2022.100101.