Sociolinguistics Course Prof Necdet Osam

All the world is a stage, and we are players!

As you will see using language involves costs and benefits in what Holmes (1992) refers to as “linguistic market”. It also involves role-playing, forging identity, power-sharing, alternating converging and diverging strategies, power and solidarity, which, all in all, signify that “language is a behavior” or, better said, “language is an act.”

The Agenda
        

Some definitions Conversational Principles Implicatures Politeness Face Is politeness diglossic? Are implicatures accidental? The issue of identity The issue of ideology

 Grice (1975) says ‘we

are able to converse with one another because we recognize common goals in conversation and specific ways of achieving it.’ In other words, how we say something is as important as what we

 To Grice, conversation is

cooperative in that both interlocutors accept each other for what they claim to be. Conversation is also bound to some principles which calls Conversational Maxims or Cooperative

Gricean Cooperative Principles

Maxim of

quantity Maxim of quality Maxim of relation Maxim of manner

Maxim of Quantity
 Make your contribution as

informative as is required.
A: Excuse me, have you got the time on you? B: 10 of 5. A: Sorry, love. Got the time? B: Yes. The time on my Swiss watch given to me by my mum on my birthday is 10 of 5.

“war is war.” So, what?

Maxim of Quality
 Do not say what you believe is

false or lacks adequate evidence.

A: Do you know who invented the telephone? B: Wasn’t it Graham Bell? A: Dad, do you know what a Green car means? B: It is a car than runs on grass,

Maxim of Relation
 Be relevant.
A: Is Tom seeing anyone lately? B: I suspect he is. His phone bills are massive! A: Did I say you look gorgeous? B: By the way, did you manage to freeze your stolen credit card?

Maxim of Manner
 Avoid obscurity and

ambiguity, and be brief and orderly.
A: ‘Cuse me, is there a phone box round here? B: Yes. Not far. Just round the next corner. You’ll first break the eggs, no

 Grice maintains that speech

often occurs in less than ideal circumstances in which speakers compromise or flout the maxims as a result of which an implicature is driven from what has been said. It is also possible an act of conversation involves implicature of more than one

 Leech defines politeness

as forms of behavior that establish and maintain comity. That is the ability of participants in a social interaction to engage in interaction in an atmosphere of relative harmony.

Leech’s Maxims of Politeness  Tact maxim  Generosity maxim  Approbation maxim  Modesty maxim  Agreement maxim  Sympathy maxim

Tact maxim 1. Minimize cost to other; maximize benefit to other. Ex: Could I interrupt you for a second? If I could just clarify this then.

Generosity Maxim
 Minimize benefit to

self; maximize cost to self.

Ex: You relax and let me do the dishes. You must come and have

Approbation Maxim
 Minimize dispraise of

other; maximize praise of other. Ex: John, I know you're a genius - would you know how to solve this math problem here?

Modesty Maxim
 Minimize praise of

self; maximize dispraise of self.

Ex: Oh, I'm so stupid I didn't make a note of our lecture! Did you?

Agreement Maxim
 Minimize disagreement

between self and other; maximize agreement between self and other.

A: Do you like this skirt, John?     B: Yes, it looks great, but I am sure you can find a better one. Yes, but ma'am, I thought we resolved this already on your last

Sympathy Maxim
 Minimize antipathy

between self and other; maximize sympathy between self and other.

Ex: I was sorry to hear about your accident.

 Face is something that is

emotionally invested, and that can be lost, maintained, or enhanced, and must be constantly attended to in interaction. Normally everyone’s face depends on everyone else’s being maintained, and it is in general in every participant’s

 “Face” (as in “lose face”) refers

to a speaker's sense of linguistic and social identity. Any speech act may impose on this sense, and is therefore face threatening. And speakers have strategies for lessening the threat. Positive politeness means being complimentary and gracious to the addressee. Negative politeness is found in ways of mitigating the imposition.

 In Goffman (1955)

terminology an act of face-changing is called face-work. Whatever face one adopts, it will be ‘the affective state of the speaker’ and ‘the profile of his/her identity’.

Is politeness diglossic?
 V/V & V/T forms are

common among the U class and in addressing the M & L classes as a marker of exercising power.  T/T & T/V forms are a marker of solidarity and intimacy among M & L classes. T/V is also used to address members of the U

Is politeness ideological?
 T/T is common among young Italian U

members who want to dissociate themselves from the aristocracy or power.  T/T is a useful implement for the politicians who aspire to reflect vox populi–the voice of the public. Consider ‘revolutionary’ Ahmadinejad.  T/T used by a young male French student would mean he favors nationalization of the industry, free love, trial marriage, abolition of capital

Solidarity or power?
 With the decline of aristocracy

and growth of democratization it appears that non-reciprocal T/V is now being replaced by mutual V as between officer and soldier.  In former T/V situations we can now find mutual T as between father and son, and employer and employee.

 How do power and politeness


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