Issues in the Definition and Conceptualization of Politeness

Dimitrova-Galaczi, Evelina

This paper deals with the definition and conceptualization of politeness by focusing mainly on the Brown and Levinson (1987) framework of politeness. It addresses the interrelationship between politeness as a strategic device and as a form of social indexing, and overviews the notion of face as a universal underlying motivation behind politeness. The paper discusses the lack of a uniform definition of politeness due to the constant tension between its universality and language specificity, and argues that some of the theoretical debate could be resolved if the distinction between politeness as a commonsense notion and politeness as a theoretical construct were clearly addressed and acknowledged in the research.


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Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
October 9, 2015