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Politeness and strategic interaction

In 1978, Brown and Levinson had published a revised version of paper for the first time, that discussed about the stronger case in cross-cultural universals. In this paper, there was a definitive nature of their work and the wide responses. consequently, it also meant to elicit from other sociolinguistics and discourse analysis therefore the theoretical framework will now be explained and discussed in a brief.

Brown and Levinson's starting point is "the extraordinary parallelism in the linguistic minutiae of the utterances with which persons choose to express themselves in quite unrelated languages and cultures".

Their main aim is to describe and account for this parallelism, and they set about achieving it by providing evidence from three unrelated languages (British and American English, Tamil and Tzeltal) the language spoken by Mayan Indians in Chiapas, Mexico), hence proposing a theory of politeness in which specific linguistic devices universally form the realisations of underlying politeness strategies.

In order to account for the systematic elements that they have observed in language use, Brown and Levinson construct a Model Person (MP). An MP, we are told, consists of a fluent speaker of a natural language who is endowed with the properties of rationality (the ability to reason from ends to the means that will achieve them) and face.

An Introduction To Discourse Analysis

In a bit long holiday like this time, some of you, guys, may forget about discourse analysis. Now, i wanna help you to keep you schemata about discourse by posting this article. it does not mean that when discourse class finish, there is no need to keep in touch with that course. Discourse analysis is not simply just a lesson written in those papers. no way. the real discourse needed to analyse is still there, exist in many parts of our daily life. thus, it is clear that this approach is inevitably crucial to the students or who ever you are. Now, if you forget that definiton and the scopes of discourse analysis, please read this brief notes.
A. What is discourse analysis?
Discourse Analysis is an approach we use in analyzing the language context either in a written or spoken text. Discourse anaysis and pragmatics have a close relation, even some people are difficult to separate these two distintive terms. if you study about pragmatics, you analyse how the context can give contribution to the message meant. To anayse that, you need the discourse analysis as your approach to examine the pragmatic problems.

Pragmatic Study: Theory of Deixis and The Definition

When language is spoken, it occurs in a specific location, at a specific time, is produced by a specific person and is (usually) addressed to some specific other person. Only written language can ever be free of this kind of anchoring in the extra linguistic situation. A sentence on a slip of paper can move through space and time, "speaker" – less, and addressee – less. All natural, spoken languages have devices that link the utterance with its spatio – temporal and personal context. This linkage is called "deixis." (Tanz in Fromkin, 2003: 217)

Definition of Deixis
Deixis is the way in which a small number of words, such as come, go, I, here and now require an addressee to be able to pick out a person, place, or time relevant in understanding how the word refers (Grundy, 2000: 23). Because I, Here, and now identify particular referents, it can be picked out to refer to if we like. We call these words indexical and this function of language deictic, borrowing the Greek word meaning pointing to or picking out. In addition, Levinson (1983: 54) states that deixis is the single most obvious way in which the relationship between language and context is reflected in the structures of languages themselves. The topic of deixis or as philosophers usually prefer, indexical expressions (or just indexicals), may be usefully approached by considering how truth – conditional semantics deals with certain  natural language expressions.
According to Renkema (1993: 76), deixis deals with connection between discourse and the situation in which discourse is used. The words deixis, which is derived from the Greek word meaning “to show” or “ to indicate”, is used to denote those elements in a language which refer directly to the situation, while deictic words are words with a reference point which is depend on the speaker or writer and is determined by the speaker’s or writer’s position in space and time.
Fillmore in Levinson (1983: 54) states that the importance of deictic information for the interpretation of utterances is perhaps best illustrated by what happens when such information is lacking. For example, finding the following notice on someone’s office door “I’ll back in an hour”, we do not know when it was written, we cannot know when the writer will return. A deictic center is a reference point which is related to a deictic expression or an expression that has a deictic usage which has to be interpreted. (Levinson, 1983 : 64). The central person is the speaker, the central time is the time at which the speaker produces the utterance, and the central place is the speaker’s location at utterance time.
The form of deictic is classified into two, namely deictic in which the context is required to determine the reference and non – deictic in which the reference is general rather than to particular identifiable persons (Grundy, 2000:6). In accordance with Levinson (1983: 68), deictic is used for gestural and symbolic, while non – deictic is used for non – anaphoric, and anaphoric.
Based on the preceding definition, it can be conclude that deixis is a words or expressions whose meaning depends on the context of the speaking. To know  the meaning of the language, we have to determine the speaker who produces the utterance, and the location of the utterance in space and time.

Brown and Levinson’s (1987) Concept of Politeness In Face Threatening Acts

Sometimes in our daily lives, we can find acts that do not satisfy the “face wants” of the speaker and the hearer. The acts that threaten either positive or negative face of the hearer are called ‘Face Threatening Acts’ (Brown and Levinson). In other words, those acts infringe on the hearer’s need to maintain his/her self-esteem and are respected. Those acts that primarily threaten the addressee’s or Hearer (H’s) negative face want, by indicating (potentially) that the speaker (S) does not intend to avoid impeding H’s freedom of action, include orders, requests, suggestions, advice, reminding, threat, warning, offer, promise, compliment, and expression of negative emotion.
In contrast, there are acts that threaten H’s positive face such as expression of dissatisfaction, disagreement, criticisms, complaints, accusation, insults, out of control, irrelevance, bringing bad news about H or boasting about S, raising divisive topics, and blatant non-cooperation in an activity. All these acts indicate that the speaker does not care about the addressee’s feeling or want. For example, disagreeing with someone’s opinion also causes threat to his positive face, as it means that you indicate that he is wrong about something.

Presupposition in Pragmatics

When someone speaks to us, we typically make all sorts of assumptions about the background to their utterance which we presume to be mutually known before the utterances ever occurred (Grundy, 2000: 120). One further significant category of pragmatics phenomena is presupposition. Presuppositions are variously defined but in general constitute assumptions or inferences that are implicit in particular linguistic expressions. For example, in the following utterance:

The doctor managed to save the baby’s life.

It is assumed that the doctor tried to save the baby’s life. Moreover, this assumption is implicit in the meaning of the verb ‘managed’. Yet this assumption is in no way part of the semantic meaning of this verb (Cummings, 2001: 29-30).The defeasibility of presuppositions cannot be explained by any semantic treatment of this notion that is based on truth conditions – the contextual assumptions that override the presupposition normally attached to ‘manage’ are not part of the truth conditions of the sentence that contains this verb. In order to address issues such as defeasibility, theorists have proposed various pragmatic analyses of presupposition (Cummings, 2005: 32).

Furthermore, Givon in Brown and Yule (1983: 29) defines presupposition as the assumptions the speaker makes about what the hearer is likely to accept without challenge. While Stalnaker still in Brown and Yule (1983: 29) says that presuppositions are what is taken by the speaker to be the common ground of the participants in the conversation. Presupposition as is described by Yule (1996: 27) can be divided into potential and existential presupposition. Potential presupposition related to the use of large number of words, phrase and structures which can only become actual presupposition in context with the speaker. Existential presupposition is not only assumed to be present in possessive constructions, but also more generally in any definite noun phrase.

Politeness Theory: Independence Strategy By Scollon & Scollon

The independence has been defined by Scollon & Scollon in Fatkhurozi (2007: 19) as an aspect which emphasizes the individuality of the participants. This strategy emphasizes the participants' right in order not to be dominated by group or social values and to be free from the impositions of others. Independence shows that the person may act with some degree of autonomy and freedom of movement or choice.

Scollon & Scollon (1995) also stated that independence can be shown by some acts as making minimal assumptions about the needs or interest of others, such as by "not putting words into their mouths," by giving others the widest range of options, or by using more formal names and titles. For example, in ordering in a restaurant we may say, "I don't know if you will want to have rice or noodles", or in making in the initial suggestion to out for coffee we might say "I'd enjoy going out for coffee, but I imagine you are buss". The characteristics of independence can be seen from giving independence to the hearer.

As in case of involvement, there are many ways in which independence can be reflected linguistically. The ten features below have been selected from among the most common used in English. Again, "H" refers to the "Hearer" and "S" to the "Speaker".

1. Make minimal assumptions about H's wants
I don't know if you want to send this by air mail or by speed post.
2. Give H the option not to do the act
I would be nice to have a tea together, but I am sure you are very busy.
3. Minimize threat
a) I just need to borrow a little piece of paper, any scrap will do.
b) I just need a little of your time.
c) Can I talk to you for just a minute.
In this strategy, S tries to make the request by minimizing the favor asked.
4. Apologize
a) I'm sorry to trouble you. Could you tell me the time?
b) I don't want to bother you, but…
c) Can you possibly help me with this, because I can't manage it.
By apologizing S tries not to interrupt on H's negative face.
5. Be pessimistic
a) I don's suppose you'd know the time, would you?
b) If you had a little time to spare for me this afternoon, I'd like to talk
about my paper.
c) There wouldn't suppose be any chance of your being able to lend me
your car for just a few minutes, would there.
This strategy gives compensation to H's negative face by explicitly expressing doubt that S can obtain the expected acts from H.
6. Dissociate S, H from the discourse
This is to inform our employees that…
7. State a general rule
a) Company regulations require that I ask you to leave.
b) Passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets on the train.
c) You will please refrain from flushing toilets on the train.
This strategy is used by manipulation that S does not want to disturb H's face, but what he or she does is forced by the situation.
8. Use family names and titles
a) Mr. Lee, there's a phone call for you.
b) Can I help you, Sir?
c) Excuse me, officer. I think I might have parked in the wrong place.
In this example, H has higher social status than S. So, the S uses the family or the titles of the hearers.
9. Be taciturn
a) Well, if one doesn't leave the gas open when he leaves the house…
b) Well, I really can't see you…
10. Use own language or dialect
a) I was honored by his kaishaku.
b) Takeshi-san, have you seen what happens to the villages that stands in
the way of the railroad?

Theory of Cooperative Principles by Grice

To identify that the words have or have not implied or intended meaning, the speaker or the writer should consider the pragmatic principles which can influence utterance.

Grice proposed that participants in a communicative exchange are guided by a principle that determines the way in which language is used with maximum efficiency and effect to achieve rational communication. He called it cooperative principle, which consists of four maxims (Grundy, 2000:74).

First, maxims of quantity, in which you should make your contribution as informative as required (for the current purposes of the exchange). 

Second, maxims of quality, in which you are not allowed to say what you believe to be false and also you are not allowed to say for which you lack adequate evidence.

Third, maxim of relation, everything you say must be relevant. Fourth, maxim of manner, when you are speaking you have to avoid obscurity of expression, avoid ambiguity, be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity), be orderly.
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