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Key Topics in Sociolinguistics : Politeness - Richard J. Watts

Key Topics in Sociolinguistics


Paperback Published: 11th December 2003
ISBN: 9780521794060
Number Of Pages: 320

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During the last fifteen years, existing models of linguistic politeness have generated a huge amount of empirical research. Using a wide range of data from real-life speech situations, this new introduction to politeness breaks away from the limitations of current models and argues that the proper object of study in politeness theory must be commonsense notions of what politeness and impoliteness are. From this, Watts argues, a more appropriate model, one based on Bourdieu's concept of social practice, is developed. The book aims to show that the terms 'polite' and 'impolite' can only be properly examined as they are contested discursively. In doing so, 'polite' and 'impolite' utterances inevitably involve their users in a struggle for power. A radically new account of linguistic politeness, the book will appeal to students and researchers in a wide range of disciplines, in linguistics and the social sciences.

'I can think of no-one in the field better qualified to write a critical introduction to linguistic politeness research than Professor Watts. He has a lively critical awareness of the shortcomings of the standard approach, an excellent overview of the presently available alternative approaches, and a willingness to work within standard theory to make the politeness research paradigm more responsive to the needs and interests of researchers around the world. There is no doubt in my mind that a critical introduction to linguistic politeness will be met with enthusiasm by the world's politeness researchers. This book is predestined to become the first standard introduction to the field.' Professor Richard W. Janney, Institut fur Englische Philologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Munchen 'The book as a whole is very clear and well-structured and provides both an overview and critique of existing politeness theories, but perhaps of more importance, he shows that there is nothing inherently polite about particular utterances, it is simply that some utterances may be more open to interpretation as polite than others ...'. Multilingua 'This excellent volume in a new series called Key Topics on Sociolinguistics is the first textbook on this subject ... This clearly written book will stretch its readers, leaving them with the sense that the field is more fertile and interesting than they may have imagined at the start ... An unusually rich and stimulating textbook ...'. The Times Higher Education Supplement '... this book is a unique book length work, offering an excellent review of the literature on politeness theories and adopting a discourse analytic approach to data. As such, it will be most beneficial to both first-time travelers to the world of politeness, as well as to others with a desire to advance their knowledge within the area.' Journal of Sociolinguistics

Introducing linguistic politeness
Politeness through time and across cultures
Modelling linguistic politeness I
Modelling linguistic politeness II: Brown and Levinson and their critics
Facework and linguistic politeness
A social model of politeness
Structures of linguistic politeness
Relevance Theory and concepts of power
Politic behaviour and politeness in discourse
Politic behaviour and politeness within a theory of social practice
Glossary of terms
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521794060
ISBN-10: 0521794064
Series: Key Topics in Sociolinguistics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 11th December 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.34  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.45

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