This is not the document you are looking for? Use the search form below to find more!

Report home > Education

Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory

0.00 (0 votes)
Document Description
It explains how politeness phenomenon is created and comprehended. It provides the theoretical base for politeness strategies, face and face, threatening acts. It provides a characterized explanation of polite behavior in such situation.
File Details
  • Added: February, 22nd 2011
  • Reads: 1458
  • Downloads: 29
  • File size: 347.40kb
  • Pages: 25
  • Tags: pragmatics, language, politeness, speech acts, face threatening acts
  • content preview
Submitter
  • Name: beert
Embed Code:

Add New Comment




Related Documents

Adapting Brown and Levinson's 'Politeness' Theory to the Analysis ...

by: hakem, 8 pages

In this paper, I will begin by briefly describing Brown and Levinson's 'politeness' theory and identifying a type of interaction which their list of 'politeness' strategies does not cover: non- ...

Pragmatic analysis of the script of Kramer vs. Kramer

by: tadeusz, 6 pages

It is observed that while making conversations in the target language, language learners of English often pay little attention to the specific context, give improper expressions different from or ...

Semiotic Analysis of Absolut Ad campaign

by: gabrjel, 18 pages

Semiotic Analysis of Absolut Ad campaign

Analysis of energy harvesting applications

by: ronethell, 12 pages

Those wishing to use energy harvesting need reassurance that it is a technology that has progressed beyond trials and new product announcements. They need to benchmark best practice. In addition, ...

Graphene: Analysis of Technology, Markets and Players 2013-2018

by: benturner, 3 pages

ReportsnReports adds a new report "Graphene Analysis of Technology, Markets and Players 2013-2018" to its research database.

FACE-THREATENING ACTS AND POLITENESS THEORY: CONTRASTING SPEECHES FROM

by: fazila, 16 pages

Recent studies have reported the logic and substance of supervisor- student teacher conference discourse, reported difficulties that aspiring supervisors face when conducting instructional ...

Market Share Analysis of Labcor Laboratories Ltd

by: kimberlyadams240, 2 pages

This report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by GlobalData’s team of industry experts.

2012 product portfolio analysis of leading diagnostic imaging companies

by: ohannajohnson, 2 pages

Placements and installed base of major systems in the U.S. and abroad, by modality. Review of major product lines. Specifications, features, advantages, weaknesses, introduction dates and prices of ...

2012 Product Portfolio Analysis of Leading Agrochemical Companies

by: ohannajohnson, 2 pages

Extensive review of major product lines Applications, advantages and weaknesses of leading products

2012 Product Portfolio Analysis of Leading Chemical Companies

by: ohannajohnson, 2 pages

Extensive review of major product lines Applications, advantages and weaknesses of leading products

Content Preview
LANGUAGE IN INDIA
Strength for Today and Bright Hope for
Tomorrow
Volume 10 : 2 February 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate

Introduction
Current research on politeness theory has critically re-examined previous accounts of
politeness phenomena and offers an alternative for investigating politeness in interaction
(Watts et al., 2005). During the course of social interaction, interlocutors engage in a
negotiation of face relationships (Scollon and Scollon, 2001) and employ strategies to
express a series of communicative acts in conversation such as requesting, complaining,
or refusing.

Politeness is a form of social interaction that is conditioned by the sociocultural norms of
a particular society; it can be expressed through communicative and communicative acts
(cited in Brasdefer, 2006:2169).

This Study

The present study presents a brief account of politeness theories.

Theoretical account of politeness provides an obvious picture of linguistic politeness in
the communication strategies and distinguishes cases where politeness is communicated
from those where it is not. It explains the aspects of politeness phenomenon. It presents
an account of politeness phenomena.

The modern conception of politeness as well as the historical origins is discussed. It
introduces research on the cognitive interpretation required to grasp politeness meaning.
Language in India www.languageinindia.com

133






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory


It explains how politeness phenomenon is created and comprehended. It provides the
theoretical base for politeness strategies, face and face, threatening acts. It provides a
characterized explanation of polite behavior in such situation.

Importance of the Study of Politeness

Jary (1998: 18) states, “most importantly, it provides an alternative to the view that polite
verbal behavior is motivated by the desire to communicate politeness, while still being
able to explain situations – such as repair – where there is a strong case for characterizing
polite behavior in terms of communication.”

The reason why politeness has become a viable issue in the study of language use is that
it offers one explanation for speakers linguistic behavior; that is, politeness is a factor that
determines what a speaker says and how he/she says it, which explains why all theories
of politeness have focused on the speaker (Chen, 2001).

The reason for investigating politeness is its importance in teaching and learning. Second
language learners experience great differences in acquiring formulaic routines so that
they can present themselves in situationally appropriate ways. Most learners seek to be
polite in the L2 or to be impolite, when necessary, in appropriate ways (Locastro, 2006).

What is appropriate in communication differs from culture to culture and subculture to
subculture. Language use without regard to this difference of appropriateness can and
does cause friction and conflict not intended by the speaker. This is where the research on
linguistic politeness actors neighboring countries can provide an important service
(Sifianou, 2001).

Theoretical Framework of the Study

People use language to transmit information, but to do it effectively, language must be
used in a manner that will not cause friction between the participants. Either face to face
or electronic media, people are increasingly concerned with the question of how we can
communicate without friction. Thus the study of linguistic politeness, which evolved out
of theoretical interests in the academic world, has been applied to the real world issue of
how to achieve smooth communication. It is for this reason that interest in linguistic
politeness came into focus more or less as byproduct of the growing interest in
pragmatics.

Politeness is not only connected with constantly recurring linguistic formulae but in
particular with recurrent behavior patterns, which regulate social interaction and gain
their fraction and significance from specific constellations for which they are obligatory
(Held, 2005: 148).

Politeness touches on issues that are crucial not only for the sociolinguist and social
anthropologist but also in the life of human beings communications. In the present study
linguistic politeness is crucially conceptualized as a social phenomenon. We argue that
understanding politeness properly might constitute an important key to the understanding
Language in India www.languageinindia.com

134






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory


of a number of sociolinguistic problems. It highlights some of the main point and notions
presented by Brown and Levinson (1978-1987) and some other theorists.

The current study is devoted to discuss some of the major theoretical issues in linguistic
politeness and ways in which it is socially and historically constituted. It is devoted to
some issues in politeness research and to the inter-cultural problems in defining and
investigating politeness phenomena.

The paradigmatic framework of politeness research emerges the fact that politeness now
represents a social norm that can be observed empirically in language and reliably
analyzed by means of language has long made it an important object of study in
linguistics taking into account the recent developments and movements towards
pragmatics. Halliday (1973) points out that politeness became a central theme. From this
point on, because of its connection with the acting and speaking subject, politeness has
been of interest as an interactional goal oriented, situation specific selection of linguistic
strategies between ego and alter.

The rapid growth of attention given to linguistic politeness seems to be more the result of
the real world necessity than purely linguistic interest. As the world becomes smaller and
smaller owing to rapid progress in transportation and communication system, people who
previously engaged in face to face interaction among acquaintances are now confronted
by the need to communicate with people from different backgrounds and with unfamiliar
communicative styles.

The topic of linguistic politeness did not stay in the ivory tower, but became an
instrument to investigate ways to negotiate around the pitfalls of intra-cultural and inter-
cultural communication. The interest in linguistic politeness became the focus of
attention for perspectives on various aspects of our everyday life because of the world
situation today, with rapid growth of person to person contact.

Researchers’ Approaches

The researchers approach to the issue of politeness is functional in the sense that
politeness is studied through the way it manifests itself in interaction. The general
framework adopted for the present study is mainly based on Brown and Levinson (1987).
Investigation of politeness in the present research will be based on Brown and Levinson‟s
theory. Brown and Levinson‟s monograph (Gu, 1990) can be seen in two ways. One is
that it is fairly thorough cross-cultural treatise on face threatening acts (FTAs). The other
is that it is a cross-cultural account of politeness phenomena by way of examining how
politeness is employed to redress the performance of FTAs.

On the basis of the theoretical framework of linguistic politeness, this study discusses
many approaches of linguistic politeness such as Brown and Levinson's approach,
Leech's approach and Lakoff's approach. Leech (1983) maintains that his model is
descriptive and may researchers found it useful in accounting for linguistic politeness in
their data. He also argues that Brown and Levinson's model is a production model, which
has attracted a large amount of attention, mainly because it purports to explain the
occurrence of specific forms of linguistic politeness in preference to others and to do so
Language in India www.languageinindia.com

135






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory


on the basis of claims for universality. Researchers claim that only Leech and Brown and
Levinson‟s models contain sufficient details to allow them to be tested through
application to real-language data. In addition, only these two models have given
examples of the kind of linguistic structures that are put to use to realize politeness
strategies.

The present study is an investigation of certain aspects of linguistic politeness in the
human communication. It is an attempt to investigate the overall systems of politeness in
different theories and to identify the common elements that constitute each theory. It is an
account of politeness phenomena by way of examining how politeness is employed to
redress the performance of the face threatening acts (FTAs) in the light of Brown and
Levinson's concept of politeness.

In reviewing the relevant literature of politeness, there was a lack of consistency among
researchers on what politeness is and how it might be accounted for. Remarkably, many
of the writers don‟t even explicitly define what they take politeness to be, and their
understanding of the concept must be inferred from statements referencing the term
(Fraser, 1990). Lakoff and previous authors have seen politeness as a social device to
avoid conflict in human interaction (cited in Kurzon, 2001: 62).

There is little agreement among researchers in the field about what exactly, constitutes
politeness and the domain of related research. At times researchers seem more interested
in defining the term (politeness than with understanding an interactive concept that
appears to be relevant in all cultures. The distinction between linguistic and non-
linguistic politeness is not drawn, if it indeed exists. The notion of politeness as universal
is often proposed but seldom validated, even in B & L World (Fraser, 1990: 234).

Aims of the Study

Speech acts have been claimed to operate by universal pragmatic principles (Austine,
1962, Searle, 1969) and claimed to vary in conceptualization and verbalization across
cultures and languages (Green, 1975, Wierzbicka, 1985). Their models of performance
carry heavy social implications (Ervin-Tripp, 1976) and seem to be ruled by universal
principles of cooperation (Grice, 1975) and politeness (Brown and Levinson, 1978,
Leech, 1983). With the growing interest in pragmatics in general and politeness in
particular, research to date has shown that Brown and Levinson's (1978, 1987) politeness
theory is the most comprehensive and applicable to cross-cultural research.

To sum up, this study aims at

1. Presenting an updated account of politeness as a factor in Linguistic communication.
2. Identifying and discussing some politeness theories presented by researchers.
3. Explaining the importance of politeness to redress face threatening acts (FTAs).
4. Showing how Brown and Levinson conceptualize face and face-threatening acts
(FTAs).
5. Presenting pedagogical implications of the study of linguistic politeness and suggest
ways and means of teaching the politeness expressions to language learners.

Language in India www.languageinindia.com

136






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory


A systematic description of the features of politeness as it operates in the performance of
language users and an account of the distinctions and contrasts make the problem clear,
perhaps easy to be solved. This study attempts to investigate this pragmatic area which
may help the learners of language to make rules under which this phenomenon operates
in their performance.

Importance of Politeness Research

Learning a foreign language involves not only knowing how to speak and write, but also
how to behave linguistically; therefore, the speakers and and users of the language must
be equipped with politeness formulas in speaking and must be aware of how to use
politeness in different communicative acts in their daily life.

Politeness is differently expressed and interpreted across cultures, especially in culture
like Arabic where religion plays an important role in the interaction, and most of the time
provides interactants with the expressions they need to appear polite in different contexts.

Consequently, we think that providing the speakers with such knowledge, how to behave
and respond in different situations, will give them ease in speech and accuracy in
speaking ability, which they badly need.

In our daily talk, there are ways to get things we want. When we are with friends, we
can be informal with them as to say shut up, open the door, close the window, hand me
your book. However, when we are talking to adults and strange people we do not know
well, we must be more formal and more polite as to say: could you open the window,
please? Or I am sorry, I don't mean to interrupt you but it is too hot.

Politeness is not something human beings are born with but something which is
acquired through a process of socialization. Politeness in this sense is not a natural
phenomenon which existed before mankind but one which has been socially and
historically constructed (Reiter, 2000).
Consequently, the area of politeness is realized now and accepted as a tool that helps
us in discussing certain clues whose absence would hinder a better understanding
between participants. It provides insights into person to person interactions.
Leech (1984) has argued that politeness is often a function of both: Standing features
such as social distance between participants interact with dynamic features such as the
kind of illocutionary demand the speaker is making on the hearer (request, advice,
command, threat, etc.).
Politeness is one of the central subfields of pragmatics, which has attracted the
attention of linguists and researchers for the last three decades. According to Thomas,
(1995), in the past twenty years within pragmatics there has been a great deal of interest
in politeness to such an extent that politeness theory could almost be seen as a
subdiscipline of pragmatics. Though much literature exists on this linguistic
phenomenon, it is still definitionally fuzzy and empirically difficult‟, (HeId, 1992). The
concept of politeness has been depicted in the literature in a great variety of views, as
Language in India www.languageinindia.com

137






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory


formality, as deference, as indirectness appropriateness, as etiquette, as tact‟ (Fraser,
1990, Kasper, 1994, Meir, 1999, Thomas, (1999). It was not until the late 1970s that
politeness became a major concern in pragmatics.

It is hoped that this pragmatic study of politeness will help to explain and investigate
the use of speech act complexity and interpret some pragmatic concepts. It will help to
remedy the ambiguity and confusion of this area that happens to the learners of language.

The significance of this study can be discussed from the major perspectives: (1) on the
one hand, it results in further explication of the linguistic theory in general and the
pragmatic theory in particular; (2) on the other hand, it can serve a good number of
applied and theoretical purposes.

This study will also contribute to different domains of applied linguistics. Aspects of
language use in general, and socio pragmatic aspects of language in specific, could be
and should be employed in language teaching programs.

Having mastered the specific function of a given utterance, a translator will find it
exceptionally easy to find the most appropriate equivalents in the target language. A
knowledge of politeness in contrastive invitation and request formulas will help
translators, especially those involved in the translation of texts with heavy cultural and
social orientations.

Furthermore, because many research projects have focused on the written aspects of
language, it is vital to carry out research with the aim of explicating the nature of spoken
language. Studies of this kind will undoubtedly enable us to find out the different forms
and functions of spoken language. The present study has been carried out with the aim of
examining the different situations of invitations and requests seek to satisfy.

The significance of this study lies in its highlighting of the concept of politeness as
employed by the speakers using the language in social interaction and in its exploring of
the distinctions of politeness in different cultures. This study will be useful and beneficial
in language discourse practices. The knowledge of politeness is important in translation
as well as classroom teaching of a foreign language.

Politeness phenomena, thus, enjoy a place of vital importance in all kinds of
communications. A speaker, for instance, may use a polite word as a protective
mechanism against threats to his face wants or desires while meeting a stranger one has
to break the ice barrier by apologizing (e.g. sorry, excuse me, could you please etc).

This study will be an essential tool to investigate politeness which is an important
aspect of character and situation in social interaction. Politeness is a key to prove that
language is a useful mirror of social attitudes. If relations are smooth or tense the
attitudes of speaker and hearer will be revealed through their use of language. Through
tactful use of politeness, one can soften the language behavior with an addressee in any
speech event.

Scope and limitation of the Study
Language in India www.languageinindia.com

138






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory



I will argue that politeness can have an instrumental or functional role in the social
interaction. Central to this perspective is Brown and Levinson's (1987) theory that treated
politeness as a universal face- threatening strategy.

In the present research, the researcher shall be concerned with the verbal expression of
politeness, that is to say the use of words and sentences or any other linguistic markers.
The non-verbal communication such as signs or gestures will not be discussed in this
study. As is clear from the title of the study, it is meant to study the aspects of politeness
used by the speakers.

This study deals with politeness as a phenomenon in different disciplines. It illustrates
the theoretical parameters of politeness. Different approaches of linguistic politeness will
be investigated and various factors that affect politeness will be discussed.

It is concerned with exploring and describing why and how the users of the language
can successfully converse with one another in a conversation in such a way to convey
their meaning and how the linguistic politeness or impoliteness affects the context.

Review of Linguistic Politeness

The origin of the English lexeme 'polite 'lies in the Latin past participle form' politus',
meaning 'Polished'. The same is true for French term' poli', which is the past participle of
the verb polir to polish.

France (1992) illustrates that the ideology of politeness lay at the heart of court
society, hence politics' in seventeenth and eighteenth century. France, enforced codes of
behavior on courtiers, which led them to subordinate themselves to an increasingly
centralized political system (France, 1992:63). "Politeness was thus instrumental in
creating a strictly hierarchical and elitist social structure, and it was used as a means of
enforcing social differences, in this sense, it did indeed become a highly efficient way of
'policing' society (Watts, 2003:33).

On the other hand McIntosh's form of politeness which focused on the development
of written style in English prose writing of the eighteenth century, considers that
"Politeness… meant something more than just etiquette, however important manners
and ceremony may have been; it was a matter of civilization. It measured in past the
distance a person or community had some from 'savagery' (1998:160).

"The etymological roots of the terms 'polite' and 'politeness' in English are thus to be
found in notions of cleanliness, a smooth surface and polished brightness which can
reflect the image of the beholder (Watts, 2003: 33).

It can be concluded from what has been mentioned above that politeness functions as a
social control and social discrimination. The term politeness referred to strategies for
constructing, regulating and reproducing forms of cooperative, social interaction in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Western Europe, it also became closely associated
with forms of respect; deference, even obedience etc.
Language in India www.languageinindia.com

139






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory



It is probably unknown when the term 'polite' first entered the English language, but
sporadic uses of the term can be found in late medieval and early modern English texts.
As we saw above, it is derived from the Latin word poltius 'polished'. Watts (2003)
mentioned that this term has been used in the sixteenth century due to the equivalent term
poli in Renaissance French, but it did not gain popularity until towards the end of the
seventeenth century.

The English term „polished‟ is also used sometimes instead of „polite‟ in reference to
forms of social behavior, and politeness takes on many of the connotations of that term.
"In contrast to polir/poli, however, the modern English lexeme polite can be used in
reference to a person's behavior (Watts, 2003: 36).

During the sixteenth century sections of people preferred to use terms instead of 'polite /
politeness' (such as 'good manner', 'civil', 'courtesy', 'virtues' , 'good nature', 'good
conduct), and the other part preferred the terms 'gentleman', 'nobility', etc.

Patrizi (1992) mentions that the origins of politeness are found in Western Europe as
part of the courtesy and conduct literature of the late Italian Renaissance at the beginning
of the sixteenth century.

Politeness in its ideological conceptualization which represented it as a natural quality
can give the opposite meaning of the word affixation.

Both of them appeared in an individual's behavior, actions and in his/her words.

Bellegarde (1985) has argued throughout his definition and analyses that politeness as
a natural term has its principle in soul, as being the product of an accomplished mind,
centering on itself, and master of its thoughts and words. Obviously, Bellegarde's
contradiction that politeness is a natural act of polishing our minds as a social process, a
process of education or acculturation. In Bellegarde's work, we can identify the following
self-contradictory and confusing aspects of ideological conceptualization of politeness:

1. Politeness is the ideal union between the characters of an individual's uses.
2. Politeness is the ability to please others through one's external actions (e.g through
one's language usage).
3. Politeness is the natural attribute of a "good character".
4. Politeness is a socially acquired state of mind that is adjudged to have reached a
state of being 'polished' and of thereby being in conformity with a set of socially accepted
forms of behavior.

Watts et al. (1992:11) remark: politeness is a dynamic concept, always open to
adaptation and change in any group, in any age and indeed at any time. It is not a social
anthropological concept which can simply be applied to the analysis of social interaction,
but actually arises out of that interaction(cited in Mills,2003:66).

However, whilst this may be true, what must be recognized is that within British culture
at present, many white , middle –class females regard politeness and etiquette as their
Language in India www.languageinindia.com

140






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory


occupation and many of them feel it is of great importance; however, this view of the
importance of their linguistic work is not shared by everyone and many in other social
groups see politeness as superfluous and trivial, perhaps because of its association with
groups of women.

Watts (2003) has pointed out that the contradictions evident here make it possible to
argue that an individual is born polite, i.e. that there is a natural connection between his
soul / mind and bodily actions (including language usage). However, it is possible to
argue that a person may acquire the ability to please and influence others, whatever the
circumstances of that person's birth. It is also easy to argue that politeness can only be
acquired if one is socialized into the 'correct' set of socially accepted norms and if he/she
is born into the appropriate social class, and therefore that those who are born outside that
class can never acquire politeness.

The social interaction of politeness was taken up by the writers of language, the
sociologists, and the philosophers in the eighteenth century in Britain. They claimed that
politeness is a natural attribute of certain individuals and not of others and is used to
exclude the latter from the ranks of the former. Furthermore, language behavior was
interpreted as one of the most significant markers if not behavior was interpreted as one
of the most significant markers of politeness.

In a recent BBC radio program about politeness, they thought that politeness was very
important, particularly in interactions between strangers. There were conflicting views
about what constituted polite behavior (BBC, radio Wales, 2001) (cited in Mills, 2003:6).

Gregory (2001) claims that there is a link between politeness and courtesy and he
characterizes courtesy in three words 'to listen', to smile, and to take 'time in our dealing
with each other.

To most scholars, politeness is used to avoid conflict. Lakoff (1975:45) defines it as
forms of behavior that have been "developed in societies in order to reduce friction in
personal interaction". Fraser and Nolan(1981) define it as a set of constraints of verbal
behavior while Leech(1983) sees it as forms of behavior aimed at creating and
maintaining harmonious interaction. According to Brown and Levinson (1978),
politeness is a form of behavior that allows communication to take place between
potentially aggressive partners.

McIntosh (1998) has pointed out that during the eighteenth century in Britain, the
term 'polite', particularly when it was connected with language use, was manipulated in a
socially selective way.

The concept of politeness was appropriately adopted as the basis of a hegemonic
discourse, in which the ability to control a specific language variety was interpreted
as providing access to high social status from which power could be exercised.
Determining who was a member of 'polite society', however, was in the hands of
those who have already gained access. (Watts, 2003: 40).

Language in India www.languageinindia.com

141






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory


The above general survey of the ideology and the philosophical dimensions of politeness
indicate that it is influenced by many factors such as the time, the setting, the society, the
culture and some other social circumstances.

Norton understands and conceptualizes politeness in a typical way in the final
decades of the nineteenth century. He views politeness as an equivalent to 'good
manner' which doesn't reflect a person's character since it is only a superficial form
of behavior; yet it could be a crucial element in deciding on the success of a young
person's career. Baumgartner conceptualizes politeness as courtesy. He says
"courtesy is more than politeness; it comes from the heart; it is kindly and thoughtful
consideration for others. It doesn‟t always accompany politeness (cited in
Baumgartner, 1980: 100).

Norton sees politeness as something purely superficial, denying any connection
between a person's character and the degree of politeness he / she displays towards
others. (The claim that successful social interaction among human beings depends
upon the will of the participants to cooperate in localized forms of social endeavor
does not prevent certain forms of human social interaction from being
confrontational and competition with the result that success and failure will then be
measured by who wins and who loses (Watts,2003:42).

On the other hand, Reiter (2000:3) states, Politeness, then, is not a characteristic
inherent to the action itself but is constituted by an interactional relationship a
relationship, based upon a standard shared, developed and reproduced by individuals
within a social group. At the individual level politeness is represented by the wide
range of alternative ways in which an actor can perform an act within the shared
standard. This standard is thus a collective one, one which is common to people
belonging either to other groups or categories within those groups. Politeness is thus
a form of social interaction, a form that medicates between the individual and the
social. The polite or impolite act is performed by an individual whose choices for the
instrumentality of such an act are based upon collective norms and whose motivation
in performing the act is that of structuring social interaction.

If we turn our attention to the connection between the ideology of politeness in
eighteenth-century in Britain, it can be an acceptable principle in modern sociolinguistic
research that the creators and diffusers of linguistic change are likely to be those
members of society who are least firmly embedded within a close knit, sustaining social
group, i.e. those who are socially mobile.

On the other hand, from Watt's arguments and discussions about the ideology of
Politeness, in terms of language this implies that polite language became the equivalent
of standard language that is the standard in speech and writing which the middle classes
should work hard to attain.

Watts et al.(1992) reopened the question of defining 'linguistic politeness' by arguing
that one of the oldest things about politeness research is that the term has never been
'explicitly' defined but is often taken as the forms of language that allow people to
achieve their goals. Watts (1989) argues that the terminology must be reviewed and a
Language in India www.languageinindia.com

142






10 : 2 February 2010
Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory


Download
Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory

 

 

Your download will begin in a moment.
If it doesn't, click here to try again.

Share Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory to:

Insert your wordpress URL:

example:

http://myblog.wordpress.com/
or
http://myblog.com/

Share Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory as:

From:

To:

Share Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory.

Enter two words as shown below. If you cannot read the words, click the refresh icon.

loading

Share Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory as:

Copy html code above and paste to your web page.

loading