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.



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Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory

Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate


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. 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 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.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Compounds in Tolkappiyam and Balavyakaranam - A Comparison | Automatic Nominal Morphological Recognizer and Analyzer for Sanskrit: Method and Implementation | A Critical Study of The Wasteland - Poetry as Metaphor | Communicative Language Teaching - An Overview | Cinema and the New Media | Culture and Second Language Learning and Teaching - An Exploration in Tamil | R. K. Narayan's Humour in Swami and Friends | Towards Meeting Global Challenge - Cyber Based Instruction in Foreign Language Teaching | Novel Technologies, Engines and Mobiles in Language Learning | Role of Language in Effective Managerial Communication | Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory | The Varied Horizon of Multimedia & Web Tools for English Language Acquisition in the Information Age | Challenges and Problems in the Teaching of Grammar | Some Features of Tirukkural Telugu Translations | Issues of Social and Ideological Empowerment in Contemporary Indian Women Writing in English | Does Stress-Shift Lead to Word-Class Conversion in English? | Insight through Body Language and Non-verbal Communication References in Tirukkural | Think-Aloud Protocol -- Elicitation of Strategy Use and Solution to Learning Problem | Voice of the Voiceless: Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape and George Ryga's Indian - A Comparative Study | Inside the Haveli: A Study | HOME PAGE of February 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Mohammed Hasan Ahmed ALFattah, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Linguistics
University of Mysore
Mysore 570 006
Karnataka, India

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