University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


The purpose of this paper is to identify what factors influence address forms between young Latter-day Saint adults. This study fills a gap in previous research since it focuses on interactions between people that are not in a clear non-reciprocal relationship. A survey was administered to members of a Latter-day Saint (Mormon) congregation within a particular age range. This provided data on when participants call each other by first name instead of the customary Brother or Sister + last name, which was then analyzed using a logistic regression model. The results from this study show that when the more predominant variables such as age, power, and status are kept constant, variation still exists as speakers react to other, subtler factors such as situation, social networks, parenthood, and being southern. This study uncovers some of these less obvious factors and how they interact with each other, showing that forms of address in LDS communities are influenced by a complex web of variables, and that forms of address in reciprocal relationship is just as variable as those in non-reciprocal relationships.