Politeness and Interaction Politeness Face means the public self image of a person. It refers to that emotional and social sense of self that everyone has and expects everyone else to recognize. Politeness, in an interaction can then be defined as the mean employed to show awareness of another person’s face. In this sense, politeness can be accomplished in situation of social distance or closeness. Like these dialogs: a. Excuse me, Mr Buckingham, but can I talk to you for a minute? b. Hey, Bucky, got a minute. From the sentence above, we know that utterance in A is more polite than B. It is due to that A and B has different closeness of interaction. Face Wants Within the persons’ everyday social interaction, they generally behave as if their expectation concerning their public self image, or their face wants. If a speaker says something that represents a threat to another individual’s expectations regarding self image, it is described as face threatening act. Alternatively, given the possibility that some action might be interpreted as a threat to another’s face, the speaker can say something to lessen the possible threat. This is called a face saving act. Negative and Positive Face A person’s negative face is the need to be independent, to have freedom of action, and not to be imposed on by others. A person’s positive face is the need to be accepted even liked, by others, to be treated as member of the same group, and to know that his or her wants are shared by others.

I know you are busy. A deference strategy is involved in what is called “formal politeness”. and even friendship. emphasizing the hearer’s right to freedom can be seen as a deference strategy. In most English speaking contexts. a face saving act is more commonly performed via a negative politeness strategy. . Example: a. The tendency to use negative politeness forms.Positive and Negative Politeness A positive politeness strategy leads the requester to appeal to a common goal. you know eh…maybe borrow? The tendency to use positive politeness forms. I’m sorry to bother you. but might I ask you happen to have an extra pen that I could. via expression. emphasizing closeness between speaker and hearer. can be seen as a solidarity strategy. Could you lend me a pen? b. but can I ask you for a pen or something? c.

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