Brown And Levenson's Theory Of Politeness

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Nowadays spoken language is considered to perform a variety of tasks. These tasks can be divided into two main categories, one concerned with the exchange of information and the other with interpersonal aspects of communication. One way to interpersonal messages in spoken interaction is hedging (Reikinen 2009). Hedging is a strategy of communication which enables the speakers to soften the force of their utterance (Nikula 1997:188). This makes their speech more acceptable to the interlocutor. For example, You are mistaken. I think you are mistaken. The second way of saying contains a hedge ‘think’ which helps to soften the force of utterance and makes it less threatening to the hearer. Therefore hedging is closely related to the politeness. When we use hedges to make our…show more content…
(2009) also worried about how non native speakers are perceived by native speakers. These concerned sentiments are understandable if the focus is on non native speaker –native speaker interaction. Brown and levenson’s theory of politeness Brown and Levenson’s theory is based on the existence of speakers and addressees(1987:58).Both speakers and addressees are rational agents who have something that Brown and Levenson call ‘face’. The term ‘face’ could be translated as a public self -image. The concept of face derives from earlier work by Goffman (1967) and from the English folk term used for example in the idiom of ‘losing face’ (Brown and Levenson 1987:61) Politeness theory on hedges relies heavily on linguistic analysis but the emphasis is on the fact that hedges are used to “disarm routine interactional threats” ( Brown and Levenson 1987: 146). It is easy to see why hedging to some extent is needed for the communication to flow successfully. To what degree hedges are used depends upon the speaker, the addressee and the communicative situation. In more general terms it is possible to talk about the choice of strategy, as some strategies counteract a face threat more than

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