A Contrastive Analysis of Politeness
GRIN Verlag, 2008 - 60 pages
Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject Speech Science / Linguistics, grade: 1,0, University of Rostock (Institut fur Anglistik/Amerikanistik), course: Contrastive Linguistics - German and English, 18 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Social interaction, especially in the form of verbal communication, constitutes one of the most important parts of human life by influencing conversations between individuals and shaping their interpersonal relationships. During the development of civilized societies people have established norms and values describing socially appropriate behaviour as well as specific conversational strategies and linguistic formulae which are generally considered to be 'polite' in a particular culture and context. When being asked to judge a person as 'polite' almost everyone has his own concept of politeness in mind, ranging from showing good manners, such as allowing women to go ahead, to politely asking other people for a favour such as lending lecture notes, by using specific linguistic formulae. Therefore, politeness cannot only be shown in people's way of behaviour towards each other but particularly in the use of language and specific linguistic devices in speech acts like requests, refusals, apologies, thanking as well as greeting and parting. On the basis of a general understanding of polite behaviour people consider their fellow-beings as being either well-behaved and respectful or rude and ill-mannered in social interactions. However, people do not assess other people's behaviour in the same way since their individual understanding of politeness varies quite considerably. Depending on factors like the situation and their relationship with the conversational partner people evaluate polite behaviour differently from being socially appropriate, considerate, and respectful to even hypocritical and insincere when they feel that some people overdo their friendliness.
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acts of requests addressee Americans and Germans analysis of politeness avoid Beckers Brown and Levinson camaraderie choice of politeness Contrastive analysis conversational partners Coulmas defines politeness Dimensions of cross-cultural directness level English and German English native speakers express politeness face wants face-threatening acts face-threatening speech acts German and English Germans tend Grice’s Cooperative Principle hearer hearer’s House and Kasper illocutions impolite indirect intercultural misunderstandings interpersonal interpersonal relationships kitchen Küche sauber machen Lakoff Lakoff’s Rules language Leech levels of directness Levinson’s Theory linguistic analysis linguistic devices maxims negative face negative politeness cultures norms off-record other’s perceived politeness is conveyed Politeness Theory positive politeness cultures potential face threat Pragmatic Competence pragmatic differences redress refusal strategies Requests and Refusals respect Rules of Politeness semantic formulas social distance social interaction social values socially appropriate Sociolinguistics specific linguistic specific speech acts speech situation theoretical approaches Theory of Politeness University of Mississippi utterances variable Western cultures