Speech On Politeness In Society

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People use politeness to seem nice, modest and tactful. It is one of the most important factor of living in a society. Our self- image showing to others is called by linguists a face, it should be recognised and respected in a society, it is the picture of ourselves which we want to reveal to others.
If we talk to the other person in a rude or not appropriate way, we perform a face- threatening act, e.g. saying ‘Give me that’ is seen as inappropriate unless the speaker’s social power is greater than hearer’s (like in the army). Using indirect question in this situation removes the assumption of social power ‘Can you give me that’? or even ‘Could you pass me that’? Such utterances are seen as face- saving acts. If we perform face- saving acts we respect other people’s self- images.

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It is obvious, that one of them has higher social status than others. They all speak to each other in a very polite way. Speech acts in dialog 2:
‘And I want you to understand that you’re welcome to stay, for as long as it pleases you to remain’- This is an indirect speech act expressing the assurance. Idriss assures his interlocutors that they are welcome. Nevertheless, instead of saying it directly, he chooses an indirect way. The purpose of such utterance is to show either respect to a hearer or, as in this example, to underline a speaker’s higher social status.
‘Please, sit and be comfortable.’- This utterance is an ask. Karla asks Idriss to sit down, in a direct way- by using imperative. Although the speech act is direct, Karla adds phrases like please and be comfortable that show her respect to Idriss, she performperforms a negative face saving act towards her hearer.
‘Can we offer you something?’- This is a typical indirect speech act. Karla offers something. NeverthelessNevertheless, she is not asking about possibility of offering, as a verb can may indicates, but about what does Irdiss want to

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