Dynamic Theory Of Politeness

1441 Words6 Pages
Being polite is vital to successful communication, nowadays. In accordance with Oxford dictionary, politeness is defined as “good manners and respect for the feelings of others”, however, in the field of linguistics, the notion of politeness is further complex and regarded as one of the most key terms to define. Linguists advocated that “politeness is […] a dynamic concept, always open to adaptation and change in any group, in any age, and indeed, any moment of time. It is not a socio-anthropological given which can be simple applied to the analysis of social interaction, but actually arises out of that interaction” (Watts, 2003). Over decades, this concept has received various amount of attention from many linguists with a large number of books, research and articles concerning politeness have been published. R. Lakoff, G.N. Leech, P. Brown and S. Levinson are regarded as some of the earliest linguists study this one. For Lakoff, politeness is “a system of interpersonal relations designed to facilitate interaction by minimizing the potential for conflict and confrontation inherent in all human interchange” (Lakoff 1990:34 in Watts 2003). Expanded upon the theory of Lakoff and Goffman, the politeness theory of Brown and Levinson is clearly the best known and most followed. Like Lakoff, Brown and Levinson examined politeness in term of conflict avoidance, but their explanatory is different. Central theme to their model of politeness is the abstract concept of “face”
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