Brown And Levinson's Theory Of Politeness

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Brown and Levinson’s (1987) theory has been considered as the most influential theory of politeness. They based their theory on Goffman’s (1971) assumptions, focusing mainly on his notion of face. Their theory of politeness is related to the pragmatic focus on the social functions of language implied in interactions bearing in mind Austin’s (1962) classification of utterances. From Austin’s classification, Brown and Levinson’s (1987) theory tried to clarify what it is said and its implications paying attention to the social functions of language. Furthermore, they also adopted speaker’s rationality in conversation introduced by Grice (1975). As for Goffman (1967) defined the concept of face as the “positive social value of a person effectively claims for himself by the live others assume he has taken a particular contact” (1967, p. 5).
Brown and Levinson defined the concept of face with “the aspects of face as basic wants, which every member knows every other member desires, and which in general it is in the interests of every member to partially satisfy” (1994, p. 62). By doing this, the concepts of positive and negative face imply the notion of want being restated as follows: “Negative face is the want of every competent adult member that his actions be unimpeded by others; positive face is the want of every member that his wants be desirable to at least some others” (Brown & Levinson, 1994, p. 62). Therefore, the relationship between the concept of face and interaction

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