Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 April 2016
Terms of address are universally seen as a tool used to build social relations between speakers and hearers. Terms of address ‘help establish or maintain social bonds, strengthen solidarity and control social distance’ (Gu, 1990: 249), although ways of addressing vary from culture to culture. Therefore, the proper choice of address terms is a prerequisite for a successful interaction. Inappropriate use of address terms may lead to misunderstandings and hinder communication.