Politeness: some universals in language usage
-inLanguage Usages" in Adam Jaworski, Nikolas Conpland in "The Discourse Reader" (pp. 311-323)
1. The problem brought under discussion is that “all competent adult members of a society have a face”.➢ Face = the public self- image that each member wants to claim for himself.
2. The aspects of the face:
➢ The negative face = “ the want of every adult component that his actions beunrestricted by others”
➢ The positive face = “ the want of every member that his wants be desirable to at least some others”
3. The aspects of face are actually wants as every member knows whatthe other one wants and it is in his own interests to satisfy those interests. That is why:
➢ The negative face is “ the want of every member that his actions be unimpeded by others”
➢ Thepositive face is “ the want of every member that his wants be desirable to at least some others”
Example: If a certain person has a very beautiful house and all his neighbours andfriends tell him “what a lovely house do you have!” this automatically means that they would like to have a house similar to him.
4. If we assume the existence of these aspects and wants it isobvious that there should be some acts that threaten these wants. They are called Face Threatening Acts (FTAs). Here we can distinguish between:
➢ Acts that threaten the addressee’s negative faceExample: orders, requests, suggestions, advice, reminding, threats, warnings, dares, offers, promises
➢ Acts that threaten his positive face
Example: expressionsof disapproval, criticism, contempt, contradictions, challenges, irrelevance, mention of taboo topics, rising of dangerously emotional topics etc
➢ Acts which threat the speaker’s negative...