Leech's Politeness Theory

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Although the politeness mainly is considered in cross-cultural and interlanguage studies as a main point in indirect speech acts, but this theory is still developing. Therefore, it seems that there is necessity to a short description of the most influential models of politeness theory which was adopted as a framework theory in the current research. Leech’s Politeness Principle (1983) may be seen as a continuation of Grice’s Cooperative Principle in the way it provided a model of politeness within conversation. While in contrast to Grice, Leech attempted to explain, what the real means of indirect speech act in people’s interactions . Since, he proposed that some independent variables “social distance, authority, costs and benefits of an act”…show more content…
Brown and Levinson defined the notion 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” (1987, p. 62). As well as, face depends on whether the speaker choices to perform a face threatening act (FTA) or face saving act (FSA). An FTA is defined as “those acts that by their nature run contrary to the face wants of the addressee and/or the speaker” and a FSA involving attenuation in the possible threat that may use as positive or negative politeness strategies (Brown & Levinson, 1987, p. 65). Positive politeness is defined as aimed “to save positive face by demonstrating closeness and solidarity, appealing to friendship, making other people feel good, and emphasizing that both speakers have a common goal” (Cutting, 2008, p. 48). Contrarily, negative politeness is described as functionally minimizing the FTA’s imposition consequences on the addressee. That minimization in the imposition is achieved by showing distance between speaker and hearer, avoiding imposition or presuming, and giving the hearer’s options (Cutting,
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