Questions and Politeness: Strategies in Social Interaction
These essays, by anthropologists and anthropological linguists, draw on material from speech communities in three continents to raise fundamental questions about the ways in which interrogative and politeness forms are used in day-to-day social interaction. The authors suggest that interrogative and politeness forms have universal features which make them efficient for certain strategies of interaction. Why should these strategies constantly recur? Here the focus shifts to the consideration of status and power, social roles and social distance. Esther Goody looks at the way in whichy the institutionalization of questioning allows only for speech acts consistent with status differences. Brown and Levinson claim that speech acts are potentially threatening to those being addressed, and that politeness forms have evolved as a mechanism for reducing such threats. They analyse the conditions under which politeness forms will be used and show that their findings are consistent with data drawn from India, Mexico and the US.
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Towards a theory of questions
Questions of immediate concern
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action analysis assessment assumption avaan bald-on-record basic behaviour caretaker child claim communication context conventionalized conversational implicatures convey cooperation creaky voice cultures deference derived dimension dyads encode English ethos example expressions face redress face wants fact factors felicity conditions function give Gonja Grice's Gricean Maxims Gumperz H's face H's wants hedges illocutionary force implicate implicature imposition indicate indirect requests indirect speech acts inference instance intentions interaction interrogative Japanese honorific joking kind kinesic Lakoff language Levinson linguistic Malagasy Maxim minimize mode morpheme motives negative face negative politeness negative-politeness norms off-record output particles particular pattern perhaps personal comm plural positive face positive politeness positive-politeness predict pronouns proposition prosodics rational reasons record referent honorifics relations relative relevant response rhetorical mode role sense sentence simply social distance society sort speaker status structure switch syntactic Tamil tf'in tion Transactional Analysis Tzeltal usage utterance verbal verbs yu9un