Politeness Strategies: Scollon & Scollon's Model


Scollon & Scollon (1995: 36 as cited in Fatkhurozi, 2007: 16) said that face is a paradoxical concept. In one side we need to be involved with other participants, in other side we need to maintain some degrees of independence from other participants and to show them that we respect their independence. Both involvement and independence will show the polite behavior that speakers or hearers do. The following are clearer description about these terms.

 Involvement Strategy

The involvement aspect of face is related to the person's right. People need to be considered normal, contributing and supporting the member of society. Someone may shows involvement by participating in a communication. It is shown by paying attention to interlocutors such as showing interest to the topic discussed or using the interlocutors' first name. Watts (2003: 89 as cited in Fatkhurozi, 2007: 17) gives some examples about it, "Jim, you're really good at solving computers problems", "I agree. Right.” Manchester united played really badly last night, didn't they", "I think you've had a bit too much to drink, Jim".
This examples show how someone respects to the interlocutor by involving him/her in communication.
Scollon & Scollon (1995: 40 as cited in Fatkhurozi, 2007: 17) have argued that there are many ways in which involvement can be shown through linguistics forms. The examples below are just ten types which have been selected from English, as also Brown and Levinson said (in Goody, 1996 as cited in Fatkhurozi, 2007: 17). In these examples the letter "H" represents the "Hearer" to whom one is speaking, and "S" represents the "Speaker".
1. Notice or attend to H
a) I like your jacket
b) Are you feeling better today
c) Goodness, you cut your hair! By the way, I came to borrow some flour!
Here, S wants to show his or her understanding and attention to H's condition.
2. Exaggerate (interest, approval, sympathy with H)
a) Please be careful on the steps, they're very slippery.
b) You always do so well in the school.
c) How absolutely marvelous!
Here, S wants to show his or her empathy towards H by exaggerating his or her expression.
3. Claim in-group membership with H
All of us here at economic department. Here, S wants to show H that they are in the same group
4. Claim common point of view, opinions, attitudes, knowledge and
empathy
I know just how you feel. I had a cold like that last week
Here, S wants to satisfy hearer's positive face that is the wants to be liked and appreciated by giving hearer gifts in the forms of goods or compliment. S gives the opinion to H that he or she had same condition last week.
5. Be optimistic
a) I think we should be able to finish that annual report very quickly.
b) I know you're always glad to get a tip or two on gardening, Fred.
c) I'll just help my self to a cookie then-thanks.
Here, S is optimistic that H also wants S's wants. This strategy usually happens among person with close relationship.
6. Indicate S know H's wants and is taking them into account
I'm sure all of you will want to know when this meeting will be over.
7. Assume or assert reciprocity
a) I know that you want to do well in sales this year as much as I want you to do well.
b) I'll do this for you if you do that for me.
c) If you help me with my math homework, I'll mow the lawn after school tomorrow.
Here, the involvement strategy of politeness works by giving evidence of reciprocal rights or obligations between S and H.
8. Use given names and nicknames
Bill, can you get that report to me tomorrow?
9. Be voluble (speak a lot)
I came down the stairs, and what do you think I see? – a huge mess all over the place, the phone's off the hook and clothes are scattered all over. By making good stories in this example, S shares some his or her wants to intensify the interest of S's contribution to the conversation.
10. Use H's language or dialect
a) Mind if I stay here for a while?
b) How about a drink?
c) Got any spare cash.
S can implicitly claim the common ground with H that is carried by that definition of the group.

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