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By Naomi Geyer

Discourse and Politeness examines eastern institutional discourse and makes an attempt to explain the connection among politeness, facework and speaker identification. The booklet seeks to set up an empirically grounded research of facework because the foundation for comparing politeness, and describes facework in gentle occasions equivalent to war of words, teasing and conversing approximately problems, that have hardly been mentioned in politeness experiences.

Insightful and state-of-the-art, this study monograph could be of curiosity to researchers in discourse research, sociolinguistics and eastern language.

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Additional info for Discourse and Politeness: Ambivalent Face in Japanese

Sample text

Levinson (1983) points out that one characteristic of dispreferred actions is that "they tend to be avoided" (333), implying the psychological mechanism of preference. Heritage (1989) explicitly states that "[t]he role of preference organisation in relation to a wide variety of conversational actions appears to be strongly associated with the avoidance of threats to 'face'" (26-27). Preference organization, assert Heritage and Raymond (2005), has the function "to maximize the likelihood of affiliative, socially solidary actions, and to minimize the consequences of disaffiliative, socially divisive ones" (16).

One factor contributing to this problem may be the correlational treatment of social variables and sentence-level speech enactments employed by many studies. Changing phenomena, in particular the processes of communication, are difficult to capture with a quantitative analytical framework. The practice of displaying and managing facework and politeness involves variable parameters and is best assessed by analyzing the phenomenon qualitatively within a longer unit of talk. Moreover, correlational studies cannot account for the varied use of politeness markers within a stretch of discourse, as reported by Cook (1996a, 1996b), Maynard (1993), and Okamoto (1999).

In a number of these studies, considerable cross-cultural differences have also been observed. Kasper (1990) categorizes sociolinguistic variables by differentiating context-external variables, such as the social factors of power and distance, and context-internal variables inherent in specific speech acts, such as the rank of imposition (R) of the act as formulated by Brown and Levinson (1987). g. Blum-Kulka and House 1989, Holmes 1989, Olshtain 1989). These components are frequently associated with the rights and obligations of interlocutors; their weightiness shows cross-cultural variation.

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