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Politeness systems: culture specific or universals - Essay Example

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What do we mean by 'politeness' Using examples drawn from specific languages, discuss the extent to which the politeness systems of different cultures reflect politeness universals, and the extent to which they are culture-specific.
In the diverse world we live in , as human beings we try to refine ourselves through our behavior…
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Politeness systems: culture specific or universals
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Download file to see previous pages In order to give ourselves a more clearer picture of politeness, we have to address the possible functions of politeness which is to lessen friction and to enhance rapport (Fraser). In addition to this, there are several main characteristics which belong to politeness and they are as follows : verbal versus non-verbal, learned behavior, voluntary, specific forms culture-dependent, one's own politeness which in turn leads to the formation of expectations
According to my research, one can be taught to be polite which is a learned behavior. You see this in one's daily life. Mom teaches Tommy to behave properly in public saying 'thank you' and 'please' when needed. In verbal versus non-verbal, we nod our heads as approval if we like something usually. And then there is politeness which leads to expectations such as when one is polite one hopes that something might be in their favor. For example, my dad was extra polite today, maybe I could ask him now for those extra pair of shoes that I needed.
One of the more common definitions of politeness is "the practical application of good manners and etiquette. It is a culturally defined phenomenon, and what is considered polite in one culture can be quite often rude or simply strange in another (Bierce)."
through invitation. ...
And then there is politeness which leads to expectations such as when one is polite one hopes that something might be in their favor. For example, my dad was extra polite today, maybe I could ask him now for those extra pair of shoes that I needed.
The author Thomas delves in the five main corners in his works which are :
*politeness as a real-world goal
*politeness as deference
*politeness as formality
"You are invited to the annual ballroom dance ,please be prompt and make the necessary adjustments (formal attire required for entry)."
*politeness as linguistic form
"Honey, would you be kind enough to do the dishes tonight"
*politeness as a pragmatic phenomenon
Here we pay attention to the social aspects of this phenomena which requires a degree of solidarity between its speakers and its relative power of the speakers(Bierce).
One of the more common definitions of politeness is "the practical application of good manners and etiquette. It is a culturally defined phenomenon, and what is considered polite in one culture can be quite often rude or simply strange in another (Bierce)."
Every culture has its own definition of what it considers polite and what it considers impolite.
In the United States for example, it is polite to ask someone over for dinner by a phone call or
through invitation. However, in more Eastern societies such has India or Pakistan, people just come over without any invitation because that is the polite thing to do. "While the goal of politeness is to make the parties relaxed and comfortable with one another, these culturally defined standards at times may be manipulated to inflict shame on a designated party(Bierce)."
In the United States when you come over ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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