Principle of coversation - Tor Vergata

Principle of coversation - Tor Vergata

Principles of conversation Agreement and Politeness Agreement Principle When we are happy for someone to take the lead in a conversation, we do not wish to impose our ego or our point of view, tacit agreement is the norm normally signalled by murmurs of assent , short grunts or, at the level of kinesics, by nods of approval

(feedback). The Agreement Principle does not necessarily mean that the listener agrees with what the first Speaker says, it merely signals that the respondent is supporting the first speaker. Politeness Principle Robin Lakoff (1973) Language and Womans Place pointed out three maxims that are conventionally followed. Together they make up the politeness

principle: 1 Dont impose, 2 Give options 3 Make your receiver feel good. These maxims can explain why many utterances carry no information but have the function of facilitating social interaction Beyond the maxims

1. 2. 3. 4. Close the door Theres a draft Would you close the door Would you be so kind as to close the door?

According to the Maxims 1. would be sufficient, but politeness phenomena are also at work in communication. Face Linguistic politeness involves the concept of face. Face is your public self-image. it is the emotional and social sense of self that every person has and expects everyone else to recognize.

(George Yule, The Study of Language, 1985, 1996) Positive and negative face Every participant in the social process has the need to be appreciated by others (positive face). This includes the need of social inclusion, i.e . belonging to a group the need not to be interfered with (negative face)

People in general cooperate in maintaining face in interaction: i.e. they strife for stability Face Threatening Acts (FTAs) Speech that represents a threat to another persons face is called a face-threatening act; Refusing a request or reproaching someone can threaten the others face. Acts threatening positive face:

S does not care about Hs feelings or wants Expression of disapproval, criticism, disagreement Acts threatening negative face: S interferes with Hs freedom of action Orders, requests, suggestions, remindings Face-Saving Acts These are meant to reduce potential threats to the other persons face.

Used to show that no [] face threat is intended or desired, and that S in general recognizes Hs face wants and himself wants them to be achieved. Such redressive action takes one of two forms, depending on which aspect of face (negative or positive) is being stressed (Brown and Levinson 1978: 70). Saving negative face Many face saving acts in everyday conversation

preserve the other persons negative face, because the speaker signals the wish not to impose on the other person; e.g. Im sorry to bother you, if I could just trouble you for a second, If I could just steal a minute of your time... Saving Positive Face A face-saving act that emphasises a persons positive face will show solidarity and draw

attention to a shared goal or view: e.g., I couldnt agree with you more. Lets do this. you and I have the same problem. Is B being positively or negatively polite? (B thinks that the dress is ugly) A: So, what do you think of my new dress? B: Well, its risqu, thats for sure.

Face and social factors Brown / Levinson (1978) model established a relationship between the intensity (weight) of the threat to face and the deployment of linguistically realized politeness strategies. The weight is the sum of 3 social parameters: the rate of imposition (borrowing a pen vs borrowing a car) the social distance (brother vs. neighbour) the power the addressee has over the speaker (friend vs. boss) Excuse me, Sir, would it be all right if I close the window? Mind me closing the window?

Face and social factors Using a direct speech act to make someone do something implies that you are acting as though you have more social power than the other person. Indirect speech acts reduce the amount of imposition/threat Explain the misunderstanding in the following

dialogue using the notions of face and indirect speech acts A: Are you going to do anything with those old chairs? B: No, you can have them A: Oh, no, thats not what I meant Positive and negative face saving acts combined Promote drunken Blogging: PUHLEES buy the

GTL a beer [Request for donation] Positive politeness: claim common attitudes (lightheartedness + willingness to accept the joke) Negative politeness: a beer to downsize the request

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