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Politeness - Assignment Example

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This essay describes what politeness is, Grice’s cooperative principle and the principle of generosity and tact. Politeness denotes how individuals demonstrate regard for one another’s public self-image. It is an important element in the social order and human cooperation. …
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Download file to see previous pages... This essay "Politeness" outlines different theories regarding this issue and explains why the expression of politeness in the workplace is different from the expression of politeness while at the dining table. Leech used Grice’s idea of cooperative principle when developing his pragmatic framework of explaining politeness. To Leech, politeness is a regulative element in human interaction. Leech explains that people convey meaning indirectly. Politeness is the key pragmatic element for indirectness, and it accounts for why people do not always comply with conversational principles. Leech takes time to distinguish a speaker’s illocutionary goal from his or her social utterance. This defines the difference between a speaker’s intended action and his position. The speaker’s position could be truthfulness, politeness, or irony. Leech’s pragmatic framework has both textual and interpersonal rhetoric. According to Leech, politeness is in the interpersonal rhetoric domain. This domain comprises Grice’s cooperative principle, politeness principle and irony principle. The irony principle allows speakers to hide impoliteness while faking politeness on the outside. The principle breaks the conversational principle and contravenes the politeness principle. Even so, the speaker uses implicature indirectly to get to his or her point of utterance. The conversational principle interacts with the politeness principle and each has its maxims. Conversational principle and its maxims provide a way of interpreting how indirect messages feature in utterance. The politeness principle accounts for why speakers prefer to use indirectness. These two principles are in constant conflict, and this conflict makes speakers to choose one over another. Choosing the conversational principle over the politeness principle has the effect of jeopardizing social equilibrium and friendly relations. This sparks off doubt about the cooperation of interlocutors. Leech’s maxims bear pragmatic scales that help hearers to assess a speaker’s level of generosity or tact in a certain speech situation (Davis 2007, p. 62). The cost-benefit scale helps speakers to assess the costs and benefits involved for both themselves and the hearers. Optionality scale refers to the degree to which an action constitutes a hearer’s choice. The indirectness scale spells out the amount of inference carried in the action. Authority scale defines the distance ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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