The Pragmatics of Politeness

Paperback | July 30, 2014

byGeoffrey Leech

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This readable book presents a new general theoretical understanding of politeness. It offers an account of a wide range of politeness phenomena in English, illustrated by hundreds of examples of actual language use taken largely from authentic British and American sources. Building on hisearlier pioneering work on politeness, Geoffrey Leech takes a pragmatic approach that is based on the controversial notion that politeness is communicative altruism. Leech's 1983 book, Principles of Pragmatics, introduced the now widely-accepted distinction between pragmalinguistic andsociopragmatic aspects of politeness; this book returns to the pragmalinguistic side, somewhat neglected in recent work. Drawing on neo-Gricean thinking, Leech rejects the prevalent view that it is impossible to apply the terms 'polite' or 'impolite' to linguistic phenomena.Leech covers all major speech acts that are either positively or negatively associated with politeness, such as requests, apologies, compliments, offers, criticisms, good wishes, condolences, congratulations, agreement, and disagreement. Additional chapters deal with impoliteness and the relatedphenomena of irony ("mock politeness") and banter ("mock impoliteness"), and with the role of politeness in the learning of English as a second language. A final chapter takes a fascinating look at more than a thousand years of history of politeness in the English language.

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This readable book presents a new general theoretical understanding of politeness. It offers an account of a wide range of politeness phenomena in English, illustrated by hundreds of examples of actual language use taken largely from authentic British and American sources. Building on hisearlier pioneering work on politeness, Geoffrey ...

Geoffrey Leech is Emeritus Professor of English Linguistics at Lancaster University, where he has been a faculty member for over 40 years. He has published many books and articles in the fields of English grammar, stylistics, pragmatics, semantics, and corpus linguistics. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1987.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:July 30, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019534135X

ISBN - 13:9780195341355

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Table of Contents

PrefacePART I - Laying the foundations1. Introduction2. Politeness - Viewpoints3. Pragmatics, indirectness and neg-politeness: a basis for politeness modeling4. Politeness: the modelPART II - Politeness and impoliteness in practice5. A case study: Apologies6. Requests and other directives7. Other politeness-sensitive speech events8. Politeness and its 'opposites'PART III - Further perspectives9. Methods of data collection: empirical pragmatics10. Interlanguage pragmatics and politeness across languages and cultures11. Politeness and the history of EnglishAppendix: Pragmatics, indirectness and neg-politeness: the backgroundReferencesIndex