17.1235, Review: Pragmatics: Lakoff & Ide (2005)

Mon Apr 24 21:35:47 UTC 2006

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Subject: 17.1235, Review: Pragmatics: Lakoff & Ide (2005)

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Date: 17-Apr-2006
From: Susan Burt < smburt at ilstu.edu >
Subject: Broadening the Horizon of Linguistic Politeness 

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 17:30:13
From: Susan Burt < smburt at ilstu.edu >
Subject: Broadening the Horizon of Linguistic Politeness 

Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-3253.html 

EDITORS: Lakoff, Robin Tolmach; Ide, Sachiko
TITLE: Broadening the Horizon of Linguistic Politeness
SERIES: Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 139
PUBLISHER: John Benjamins
YEAR: 2005

Susan Meredith Burt, Department of English, Illinois State University


This volume has several goals, the most obvious being to make 
available some of the papers presented at an International Symposium 
on Linguistic Politeness held at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok 
in 1999.  The purpose of the symposium itself was to expand the 
scope of politeness studies, which the editors feel had focused far too 
much on Western languages, particularly English; a second goal is to 
assess 30 years of work in the field of politeness.  The book includes 
an introductory chapter by Lakoff and Ide, three plenary papers by 
Lakoff, Ide and Bruce Fraser, and fifteen further papers, grouped into 
four sections, ''the theoretical perspective,'' ''the descriptive 
perspective,'' ''the comparative perspective,'' and ''the historical 


The introductory chapter, by the editors, cites forebears in the field of 
linguistic politeness, including Jane Austen, Freud, and Margaret 
Mead.  The central notion of face is attributed to Erving Goffman; 
appropriately, politeness is seen as ''necessarily interdisciplinary'' 
(p.2), and the phrase ''linguistic politeness'' is neither tautologous nor 
contradictory.  Still, the notion is complex, in that issues of both ''rules'' 
and ''standards'' are involved.  One function of politeness is offered: if 
two agents adhere to politeness rules, they succeed in both signifying 
their shared group membership and in signaling that they are both 
good members of the group; doing this successfully is 
labeled 'wakimae'.  The discussion of terms of the art continues with 
distinctions made between civility, politeness and courtesy, calling to 
mind Watts's (1992) distinction between politic verbal behavior and 
politeness, although the authors do not discuss the Watts 
terminology.  The writers then broach the universality-contrastivist 
dispute, suggesting a sensible compromise that ''languages share 
many universal components, but also differ in surprising and 
unpredictable ways'' (p. 6).  The same is true, they suggest, with 
politeness phenomena.  Lakoff and Ide argue for an integral position 
of politeness in grammar, given that polite behavior is 
usually ''unmarked.''  Furthermore, ''the fact that speakers can tell 
intuitively whether an utterance is polite, rude or something in 
between suggests that the system is rule-governed'' (p.9), an 
interesting and strong claim, which Mills (2003) has since disputed.  
Still, the position of politeness as an integral part of pragmatics cannot 
be doubted.  However, the viability of a universal system is again 
questioned, and the authors concede that they have not been able to 
find an approach that bridges the East-West divide for the two of them.

The goals of the three plenary papers reflect the individual authors' 
theoretical backgrounds and positions.  Lakoff focuses her keenly 
intuitive observations on American English political-politeness 
practices; Ide stresses East-West differences and Fraser assesses 
the state of the art with a set of meta-theoretical questions.

Lakoff frames her plenary paper, ''Civility and its discontents: Or, 
getting in your face,'' with three research questions: 1) Why is 
politeness more salient at some times than others? 2) How do normal 
people understand politeness? And 3) What happens when politeness 
systems change or shift?  American society, she argues, is 
undergoing a shift in its politeness system now, which makes this a 
good time to focus on these questions.  Lakoff offers definitions of 
politeness as ''an offering of good intentions'' and civility as ''a 
withholding of bad ones'' (p.25) and suggests that complaints that 
society is becoming less civil arise from a worry that it is actually 
fragmenting.  She cites a shift during the Renaissance from a 
camaraderie-based to deference-based politeness system, and 
suggests that that earlier shift is now in the process of being 
reversed.  As evidence for this, she discusses nine ''cases'' or 
symptoms of politeness worries: ''sexual coarseness in public 
contexts,'' ''violence in the media,'' ''agonism, the unwillingness to 
acknowledge middle ground in debate'' (p. 28), ''uncontrolled displays 
of hostility'' (p. 29), ''negative political advertising,'' ''cursing and other 
bad language'' (p. 30), ''flaming on the internet,'' ''the loss of polite 
conventions'' (p. 32), and ''invasions of privacy and the rise of 
conventional anti-formality'' (p. 34).  These symptoms are consistent 
with a shift from deference to camaraderie politeness, with 
camaraderie still in a stage of inadequate conventionalization, which 
prevents its being recognized as a type of politeness.  Lakoff ties 
these changes in with an erosion of the distinction between public and 
private realms (which she discusses at greater length in Lakoff 2005), 
the increasing diversity of the population or an increase in 
empowerment of previously subordinated groups, the rise of the 
internet, and media pressures.

Sachiko Ide's chapter is entitled ''How and why honorifics can signify 
dignity and elegance: The indexicality and reflexivity of linguistic 
rituals.''  Beginning with the observation that Thai as well as Japanese 
seems to have honorifics, Ide asserts that it ''make[s] sense to talk of 
East Asian languages'' (p. 45), seemingly on a level of some 
generality.  Claiming that honorifics are indispensable to East Asians, 
Ide attributes the lack of understanding on the part of some 
Westerners to ''the Western way of looking at language...as 
something linear, which can be processed one piece after another in 
an alphabetic item-and-process approach'' (p.46).  Furthermore, 
Westerners' reliance on an alphabet seems to predispose them to 
''simple conceptualization'' (p. 47).  Further claims follow about 
Eastern and Western differences in thinking (I must say that I found 
the number of stereotypes about both East and West somewhat 
surprising).  Ide does mention linguistic differences, such as the 
Japanese pronoun system, which contains pronouns differentiated 
by styles (formal, normal and deprecatory--this last style 
apparently unavailable to female speakers) as well as by person.  
This kind of system, she claims, is, like honorifics, a challenge 
''to the Western perspective.''  (Her paper pre-dates interesting 
work on pronoun variation internal to Japanese, discussed in 
Lunsing and Maree 2004 and Miyazaki 2004).

Pragmatic particles also play a role in expressing speaker identity in 
Japanese; Ide cites the nominalizing particle no, which also ''indexes 
the speaker's identity as a sweet female'' (p. 52).  Ide claims further 
that in Japanese, agreement is pragmatic in that it shows ''one's sense 
of self and relation to others'' ('wakimae', p. 53), while agreement in 
English is grammatical.  Neither claim seems to allow for individual or 
group dissent from a ''standard,'' whether in pronoun choice by a 
Japanese lesbian (Lunsing and Maree 2004), or in agreement leveling 
in some non-standard varieties of English.  Ide further discusses items 
such as the sequencing of turns at talk, back-channeling and levels of 
formality as playing a role in Japanese, in claimed contrast to a 
Western focus on propositional content.  Again, Ide seems to overlook 
Western linguistic scholarship that has discussed precisely such 
things, such as Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson (1974), Gumperz 
(1982), Tannen (1984) and Myers-Scotton (1993), to name just a few.

Ide criticizes face-maintenance approaches to honorifics as 
inadequate to deal with ironic uses of honorifics, although she later 
finds the notion of ''negative wants and positive wants'' (p. 59) useful 
in explaining other uses.  The elegance and dignity she attributes to 
honorific use comes from the high level of honorific use she says 
characterizes the speech of high-ranking women in Japanese 
corporations (although no actual examples are given).  She ends with 
a reiteration of the claim that choice of forms appropriate to situation is 
universal, but its exploration has been neglected in Western 

Bruce Fraser focuses his plenary paper on a set of explicit theoretical 
questions, with the overall goal of summarizing the types of critiques 
that have been made of Brown and Levinson (1987).  Fraser cites 
challenges to the claims of universality, points to the question whether 
politeness is communicated, implicated or simply anticipated, and to 
the role of impoliteness in this issue, and the status of politeness in 
pragmatics: summarizing the argument of Fukada (1998), Fraser 
concludes that ''a strong case can be made for maxim status'' (p. 68).  
Other issues include the distinguishing between deference and 
politeness, and the need to explain rudeness, a task which Brown and 
Levinson (1987) do not tackle.  Questions about the status of Brown 
and Levinson's politeness strategies also are discussed--does ''bald-
on-record'' properly count as a strategy?  Can we distinguish between 
an FTA and the strategy employed to perform it?  Turner (1996) has 
shown that one speech act can simultaneously impact both positive 
and negative face, making that distinction somewhat questionable.  
Furthermore, the ''strategies'' of Brown and Levinson have other social 
uses besides face-threat mitigation.

The very notion of face, of course, has come in for a great deal of 
critique, which Fraser briefly summarizes; the same is true of the Wx 
formula which is at the heart of Brown and Levinson's theory.  Despite 
these criticisms, Fraser believes that a politeness theory is possible 
and worth working for.  This article, in summarizing critiques of the 
Brown and Levinson theory up through the 1990s, is useful.

The second section of the book, on ''The theoretical perspective,'' 
begins with Makiko Takekuro's article, ''Yoroshiku onegaishimasu: 
Routine practice of the routine formula in Japanese.''  Takekuro cites 
two views of politeness, 1) as strategic action, or 2) as conformity to 
norms.  Neither is adequate, she claims, to the analysis of the routine 
formula in Japanese, Yoroshiku onegaishimasu, which is used in a 
great variety of social situations, including on New Year's greeting 
cards.  The formula conveys both ''deference and an imposition on the 
addressee's freedom of action'' (p. 88) two items that are mutually 
exclusive in the Brown and Levinson framework.  In Japanese, 
however, the formula, which is practiced reciprocally, serves to ''affirm 
social bonds'' (p. 90).  Ultimately, it is seen as ''routinized practice,'' 
rather than either a strategy or social norm.

Marina Terkourafi's article provides ''An argument for the frame-based 
approach to politeness: Evidence from the use of the imperative in 
Cypriot Greek.''  Here, the basic claim is that the social variables that 
are relevant to the choice of imperative form in Greek (use of the tu or 
vous equivalent) should not be subsumed under Brown and 
Levinson's mega-variables P (power) and D (distance).  Terkourafi 
argues that politeness is expected in most interactions, and thus, 
should be seen as unmarked.  Thus, rather than a strategic approach 
to politeness, she proposes that ''interlocutors' stable attributes enter 
politeness assessments in a more direct way'' (p. 106).  Politeness 
emerges as a reflex of shared and social rationality, and is seen as a 
suitable response to a frame, which is defined as ''a data-structure for 
representing a stereotyped situation'' (p. 110).  Politeness is 
unmarked because speakers share frames and derive similar 
inferences from them.

The last article in the Theoretical section is Margaret Ukosakul's 
description of ''The significance of 'face' and politeness in social 
interaction as revealed through Thai 'face' idioms.''  Ukosakul 
collected 180 'face' idioms in Thai and analyzed the metaphors 
therein.  Thai idioms that include the word for 'face' are numerous, 
and reflect the Thai estimation of the head as the ''sacred'' part of the 
body (while the feet are ''debased,'' p. 118).  The word for face seems 
to include notions such as personality, emotions and honor, as well 
as ''dignity, self-esteem, prestige, reputation and pride'' (p. 119).  Thai 
values include appropriateness and harmony, which lead to a concern 
to preserve other people's face as well as one's own.  Linguistic 
strategies that develop from this include a strong preference for 
indirectness, including hinting, beating around the bush, and teasing; 
there is an avoidance of confrontation, although anger which cannot 
be suppressed can result in 'face'-related insults (''dog face,'' ''sole of 
feet face,'' '' furry face,'' p. 122).  But this and other norm 
transgressions can lead to ''broken face,'' ''red face,'' or ''numb face,'' 
(p. 124), in other words, shame, after which one must ''buy the face 
back'' (p. 124) and regain one's honor.

The first of four articles in the section on ''The descriptive perspective'' 
is Christopher Conlan's article, ''Face threatening acts, primary face 
threatening acts, and the management of discourse: Australian 
English and speakers of Asian Englishes.''  Conlan's thesis is that the 
contextual placement of a face-threatening act is itself a matter of 
communicative competence.  In a request scenario between two 
native speakers of Australian English whose relationship (in terms of 
power and distance) is well-established, there must be an optimal 
number of speech acts leading up to the request for the exchange to 
remain functional; either too few or too many of these preliminary acts 
will annoy the requestee.  Conlan then shows two sequences in which 
a native speaker converses with a non-native speaker in which the 
paucity of preliminary acts seems to render the sequence impolite to 
native speakers of Australian English.

Krisadawan Hongladarom and Soraj Hongaldarom 
describe ''Politeness in Thai computer-mediated communication. They 
show that in a Thai virtual community, both the explicit ''netiquette'' 
rules and the actual practices of participants reflect Thai cultural 
values: posts critical of the King are prohibited, but even if posters 
venture onto questionable territory, other posters will be more likely to 
respond with sympathy, joking, and general camaraderie rather than 
with flaming.  Politeness, it is concluded, has both universal and local 

Martha Mendoza's chapter, ''Polite diminutives in Spanish: A matter of 
size?'' argues that diminutive use is indeed not just a matter of size.  
Spanish diminutive suffixes have undergone grammaticalization, 
defined as the loss of some semantic content coupled with the gain of 
new contexts of use.  Diminutives function as means of intensification, 
approximation and pejoration in appropriate contexts, but Mendoza 
shows that more ''social'' functions have also been added, such as 
hedging and a softening of the illocutionary force.  This seems in 
accord with Lakoff's politeness maxim, ''Don't impose.''  Thus Spanish 
diminutives seem to function as polite minimizers, as they do in some 
other languages.  In accord with theories of grammaticalization, 
morphemes can acquire these functions while still retaining earlier 

Deeyu Srinarawat describes the functions of indirectness in the 
chapter, ''Indirectness as a polite strategy of Thai speakers.''  Two 
kinds of data were used in this study: 1) dialogue passages taken 
from five contemporary Thai novels, and 2) responses to a multiple 
choice discourse completion questionnaire administered to 475 
respondents.  The passages from the novels classified as indirect 
seem to be used first and foremost for purposes of irony.  In the 
questionnaire responses, a preference for indirectness was shown by 
women more than by men, and increased with increasing education.  
But when the prompt emphasized politeness, the choice for 
indirectness increased to 76% of responses.  The author concludes 
that passages from novels are less revealing of speaker preferences 
than other sources, such as drama scripts, might be.

The ''comparative perspective'' section opens with Megumi Yoshida 
and Chikako Sakurai's chapter ''Japanese honorifics as a marker of 
sociocultural identity: A view from non-Western perspective.''  This 
article discusses switches from the ''plain form'' to the ''polite form'' in 
Japanese, also known as addressee honorifics.  By gathering tape 
recordings of 10 families, 32 such switches were collected.  Earlier 
interpretations of these forms, as showing deference, formality or out-
group membership of the addressee, do not seem to apply to these 
cases.  The authors instead claim that the switch to polite form marks 
a role identity for the speakers, although to this reader, interpeting 
these switches as ironic seems more plausible.

Alexandra Kallia, in ''Directness as a source of misunderstanding: The 
case of requests and suggestions,'' attempts to determine whether the 
forms used to realize requests and suggestions overlap, and therefore 
lead to misunderstanding, in English, German and Greek.  Data were 
collected from native speakers of all three languages, who were all 
students of one of the other two languages.  One questionnaire 
involved a discourse completion task, and the other asked 
respondents to evaluate possible utterances in a situation from the 
point of view of one of the participants.  The results are complex, but 
some of the more salient results are the following: English native 
speakers avoid direct forms in German and come across as overly 
polite, while German native speakers use conventional indirectness in 
English.  Misunderstandings can arise with some direct forms and 
their differential interpretations: ''Negative questions ...were almost 
always perceived as impolite by German and English speakers but not 
by Greek speakers'' (p. 228).  Imperatives also are evaluated 
differently: English speakers find them impolite, German speakers give 
them mixed reviews, and they seem neutral to Greek speakers.

Anders Ahlqvist focuses on ''Forms of address in Irish and Swedish.''  
These two languages are of interest because both are exceptions to 
the pattern in many European languages in which a second person 
plural pronoun serves as the ''polite'' form of address to a singular 
addressee, such as 'vous' in French.  In Ireland, this pattern was 
never adopted, whereas in Sweden, it was.  Still, in Sweden, the vous-
equivalent was marginalized by the widespread use of titles for 
addressee-reference used with third person predicates; this pattern 
was then done away with in the language reform of the 1960's, and 
the universal use of Du to a singular addressee prevailed in most of 

Ekaterini Kouletaki analyzes the results of a discourse completion 
questionnaire in ''Women, Men and polite requests: English and 
Greek.''  Following Blum-Kulka, House and Kasper (1989), Kouletaki 
shows that the strategies used by men and women, Greek and 
English, are as much influenced by the situation as other factors, 
which mitigates the characterization of whole cultures as inclining 
towards one type of politeness or other.

Mark Le's discussion of ''Privacy: an intercultural perspective'' claims 
that ''privacy is culturally determined'' (p. 277); Le presents a cline of 
discourse types, from very private ''pillow talk,'' to very public 
''conference presentation, as well as instances of (presumably 
recalled) discourse between Australians and Vietnamese which 
demonstrate that participants were operating with two very different 
notions of what kinds of topics were off-limits.

The final chapter in the comparative section is ''Selection of linguistic 
forms for requests and offers: Comparison between English and 
Chinese'' by Masako Tsuzuki, Kazuhiro Takahashi, Cynthia Patschke 
and Qin Zhang.  The researchers constructed a Discourse Completion 
Task which contrasted two kinds of requests, those that burden the 
addressee, and those that benefit the addressee.  These were 
constructed with socially close versus distant, and status equal versus 
higher status addressees (request type x social distance x status).  In 
all cases, the question was whether the imperative or interrogative 
form was judged more acceptable; respondents rated each form on a 
Likert scale.  Respondents were American teachers of English and 
Chinese teachers in Japan.  The results are clearly and carefully 
presented: for the burden-requests, the interrogative is judged more 
appropriate than the imperative for both languages, although Chinese 
speakers rated all cases of the imperative as less impolite than the 
English speakers did.  For the benefit-request, the imperative is more 
appropriate only if the addressee is both socially close and a status-
equal.  Otherwise, the interrogative remains more appropriate.  
However, in Chinese, the imperative is more appropriate than it is in 
English in a ''close and equal relationship'' (p. 295), and is 
conventionalized as such; for this reason, the authors conclude that 
Chinese society can be said to be more positive politeness oriented 
than American society.

Two chapters comprise the final section, ''The Historical Perspective.''  
The first of these, Andrew Barke and Satoshi Uehara's ''Japanese 
pronouns of address: Their behavior and maintenance over time,'' 
provides a fascinating coverage of the historical changes in Japanese 
second-person pronouns since the Nara period (710-794 C.E.).  The 
resulting picture contrasts with that provided by Brown and Gilman 
(1968) for second-person pronouns in Western European languages.  
Current-day Japanese has more second-person pronouns than 
German, Italian, etc., and an extensive search of a Japanese historical 
dictionary revealed 140 second-person forms since 710; collapsing of 
phonological variants reduced this number to 72.  The question that 
arises is what accounts for this large number of forms and for the 
frequency of innovation and replacement?  The authors argue that 
Japanese, first of all, has more ''levels of politeness'' than European 
languages, as well as second person pronouns that are distinctly 
derogatory.  Furthermore, ''personal pronouns in Japanese are 
susceptible to shifts in their politeness levels, and when such a shift 
occurs, it is always downwards'' (p. 306).  Thus, the life cycle of 
second person pronouns in Japanese consists of a euphemistic 
innovation (as reference to the addressee is more or less taboo), 
followed by semantic pejoration, and an eventual retiring of the form.  
Thus, new address terms are needed frequently.  Interestingly, while 
both men and women have created innovative second-person forms 
over the history of Japanese, those created by women come to be 
used by men, although the reverse is not the case.

The final chapter of the volume is ''An aspect of the origins and 
development of linguistic politeness in Thai'' by Wilaiwan Khanittanan.  
Khanittanan consults compendia of inscriptions from the Sukhothai 
period (1238-1420) and identifies this period as the source of the use 
of kinship terms as polite address terms, as well as of the stratification 
of various personal pronouns, and special (honorific) lexical items for 
use by or with reference to kings or monks.  During the succeeding 
Ayutthaya period (1351-1767), kings were further elevated by the use 
of the ''raja-sap'' or royal vocabulary.  During this period the elite were 
literate in both Thai and Khmer, and in consequence a ''diglossic 
register differentiation'' (p. 324) developed, as did honorification 
prefixes and usages that elevated the king and effaced the speaker.  
While politeness was due from those lower on the hierarchy, it was not 
reciprocated by those above.  In the modern era, raja-sap is taught in 
the schools, and the categories of people to whom it should be used 
has expanded.  Sentence-final particles have developed that mark 
politeness in ordinary speech, and words of Indic and Khmer origin 
are still considered more refined than words developed of native Thai 


As a collection of papers, this volume achieves its stated goal of 
broadening the focus of politeness studies; not only are some 
European languages included which have not been frequently studied 
in terms of politeness (such as Irish), but also, the volume boasts 
several articles on politeness phenomena in Thai, a language which 
has not been as central to the politeness conversation as have 
Japanese and Chinese, for example.  Further broadening still remains 
to be done, both within and beyond East Asia, obviously, but this 
attempt is a good start.  The secondary goal of assessing three 
decades of work in politeness studies is a more difficult one, and only 
a few of the papers can be seen as contributing towards this goal; 
however, there is a certain amount of theoretical diversity here (which 
can be an advantage or a disadvantage in a volume like this); while 
notions from Brown and Levinson (1987) are both used and critiqued, 
this use and critique does not unduly constrain either the topics or the 
approaches of the papers.  The papers in the historical section, for 
example, serve as refreshing reminders that a number of approaches 
to linguistic politeness phenomena can be fruitful.  The quality of 
papers in the volume is not quite uniform, in that a few papers are 
somewhat data-thin.  Others, however, are well-constructed, original 
in approach, well-argued and well-supported, making the overall value 
of this volume high.


Blum-Kulka, Shoshana, Juliane House, and Gabriele Kasper (eds.) 
(1989).  Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies.  
Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Brown, Penelope and Stephen Levinson.  (1987).  Politeness: Some 
universals in language usage.  Cambridge: CUP.

Brown, Roger and Albert Gilman (1968).  The pronouns of power and 
solidarity.  In Joshua Fishman (ed.), Readings in the Sociology of 
Language.  The Hague: Mouton.

Fukada, Atsushi.  (1998).  A Gricean theory of politeness.  Presented 
at the Twelfth International Conference on Pragmatics and Language 
Learning, Urbana, IL.

Gumperz, John. (1982).  Discourse Strategies.  Cambridge: CUP.
Lakoff, Robin Tolmach. (2005).  The politics of Nice.  Journal of 
Politeness Research 1,2: 173-191.

Lunsing, Wim and Claire Maree.  (2004).  Shifting Speakers: 
Negotiating Reference in Relation to Sexuality and Gender.  In 
Shigeko Okamoto and Janet S. Shibamoto Smith (eds.), Japanese 
Language, Gender and Ideology: Cultural Models and Real People. 
Pp. 92-109.  Oxford: OUP.

Mills, Sara.  (2003).  Gender and Politeness.  Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press.

Miyazaki, Ayumi.  (2004).  Japanese Junior High School Girls' and 
Boys' First-Person Pronoun Use and Their Social World. In Shigeko 
Okamoto and Janet S. Shibamoto Smith (eds.), Japanese Language, 
Gender and Ideology: Cultural Models and Real People. Pp. 256-274.  
Oxford: OUP.

Myers-Scotton, Carol. (1993).  Social Motivations for Codeswitching: 
Evidence from Africa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Sacks, Harvey, E. Schegloff and G. Jefferson. (1974).  A simplest 
systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation.  
Language 50: 696-735.

Tannen, Deborah. (1984).  Conversational Style: Analyzing Talk 
Among Friends.  Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Turner, K. (1996).  The principle principals of pragmatic inference: 
Politeness.  Language Teaching, 29:1-13.

Watts, Richard J. (1992).  Linguistic politeness and politic verbal 
behavior: Reconsidering claims for universality.  In Watts, Richard 
J., Sachiko Ide and Konrad Ehlich (Eds.): Politeness in Language: 
Studies in its History, Theory and Practice. Pp. 43-69.  Berlin: 
Mouton de Gruyter. 


Susan Meredith Burt is Associate Professor in the Department of 
English at Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. She has published 
on politeness in the choice of deictic verbs in Japanese, and in code 
choice in German-English intercultural conversations.  She is currently 
researching changes in politeness practices in the language of the 
immigrant Hmong community in Wisconsin.  Her most recent 
publication is "How to Get Rid of Unwanted Suitors" in volume 1, 
number 2 of the Journal of Politeness Research.

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