Research Article

Politeness Strategies in Computer Mediated Communication (CMC): An Issue of University Professors and Students.


  • RUTH ABAYA Lecturer, Maasai Mara University- Department of Languages, Linguistics and Culture, Narok, Kenya
  • MAGONYA LILIAN Department of Languages and Linguistics, Maseno University, Kisumu, Kenya
  • ONGARORA, DAVID Maseno University, Department Of Languages and Linguistics, Kisumu, Kenya


This paper examines the politeness theory in the light of Austin & Searle’s speech act theory as reflected in CMC between students and their lecturers or supervisors. Thus politeness aspects were analyzed as enacted in the five categories such as: Assertives, commisives, directives, expressives, and declaratives. The paper also examined politeness in other language aspects that are usually present in any form of communication, such as: Address phrases, meeting requests, request for reply, and adjunct phrases. The objective of this article was to shed light on the politeness strategies employed by the lecturers and students in their e-communication through Whatsapp and SMS (short messages or text messages) platforms. Fifty communications were downloaded from the lecturers’ phones through their permission and the students’, which were used as data for this study. Five lecturers and seven postgraduate students made the population of this study. The findings indicated that students seem to be comfortable using this mode of communication, and it is important to understand how students and lecturers make choices and how these choices affect the perception of the cultural appropriateness of CMCs. The results also revealed that elements of politeness greatly decrease in the follow-up messages, that is, messages that require some kind of response. From the study, lecturers adhered to formal language use as compared to the students in their communication.


Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

6 (8)





How to Cite

ABAYA, R., LILIAN, M., & ONGARORA, DAVID. (2023). Politeness Strategies in Computer Mediated Communication (CMC): An Issue of University Professors and Students. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 6(8), 146–154.



Text messages, whatsapp, politeness strategies, speech acts, CMC