This study is about the principles for constructing polite speech.
The core of it first appeared in Questions and Politeness, edited
by Esther N. Goody (now out of print). It is here reissued with a
new introduction which surveys the now considerable literature in
linguistics, psychology and the social sciences that the original
extended essay stimulated, and suggests new directions for
research. The authors describe and account for some remarkable
parallelisms in the linguistic construction of utterances with
which people express themselves in different languages and
cultures. A motive for these parallels is isolated - politeness,
broadly defined to include both polite friendliness and polite
formality - and a universal model is constructed outlining the
abstract principles underlying polite usages. This is based on the
detailed study of three unrelated languages and cultures: the Tamil
of South India, the Tzeltal spoken by Mayan Indians in Chiapas,
Mexico, and the English of the USA and England, supplemented by
examples from other cultures. Underneath the apparent diversity of
polite behaviour in different societies lie some general pan-human
principles of social interaction, and the model of politeness
provides a tool for analysing the quality of social relations in
any society. This volume will be of special interest to students in
linguistic pragmatics, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics,
anthropology, and the sociology and social psychology of
Table of contents:
Symbols and abbreviations; Foreword John J. Gumperz; Introduction
to the reissue; Notes; 1. Introduction; 2. Summarized argument; 3.
The argument: intuitive bases and derivative definitions; 4. On the
nature of the model; 5. Realizations of politeness strategies in
language; 6. Derivative hypotheses; 7. Sociological implications;
8. Implications for language studies; 9. Conclusions; Notes;
References; Author index; Subject index.
It has continued to inspire empirical work as 'the' source on politeness and, more generally, as an important exemplar in the study of the relationship between language and society. In addition, the broad scope of their treatment of these concerns has created a work in which many, if not most, of the assumptions guiding the contemporary study of language use are to found." Douglas G. Glick, Semiotica (1996)
Symbols and abbreviations Foreword John J. Gumperz Introduction to the reissue Notes 1. Introduction 2. Summarized argument 3. The argument: intuitive bases and derivative definitions 4. On the nature of the model 5. Realizations of politeness strategies in language 6. Derivative hypotheses 7. Sociological implications 8. Implications for language studies 9. Conclusions Notes References Author index Subject index.