Politeness As a Social Phenomenon

This paper shows that politeness generates fundamental issues about social life and interaction. A Gricean framework (especially the Co-operative Principle of Grice) fails to deliver a complete account of politeness since it does not take into account the socially relevant factors. A reduction of the Gricean approach, nameley, that of Horn (1984), is examined in this context. I investigate the various politeness strategies used in Korean as an illustration for an assessment of such a reduced version and claim that it offers a simpler account of the phenomenon in question.

In this paper, I conclude that rules of politeness take precedence of other maxims. For example, Brevity or proloxity (Grice's Manner (iii)) are not decisive factors distinguishing marked and unmarked forms in Q- and R-Implicatures.

I have discussed rules of politeness in Korean in this paper as well as in another paper.

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    Tanmoy Bhattacharya
    Universität Leipzig
    Zentrum für Kognitionswissenschaften
    GK "Universalität und Diversität
    Augustusplatz 10/11, 01409 Leipzig