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Politeness in English : Based on chats communication

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This study analyzes chats conversation to understand how politeness is achieved in English conversation. Within Brown and Levinson’s model (1987), politeness is introduced as the concept based on the social notion of face and interpreted as the effort to avoid Politeness is interpreted as the effort to avoid a threatening act or to mitigate the threat if it is inevitable. This research is motivated by the author’s experiences with working through a native speaker of English and being aware of politeness. Academic interaction with her co-worker, an American speaker of English provides an opportunity to enhance the author’s awareness of communication as social interaction and face-involved. This study focuses on the native use of English and identifies features and strategies in order to see how politeness is achieved when face-threat has to be committed. Records of chats have been documented and analyzed to investigate the use of English in order to see what kinds of strategies are used and enhance the author’s awareness of politeness. The data selected for the current study come from chats conversation occurring for three months in 2007. Analysis of the data show that it is difficult to avoid threatening acts in verbal interaction. A set of face-threatening acts (FTAs) are identified such as disagreement, interruption, requests, and correction of English. The use of linguistic means shows how politeness can be achieved from a native speaker’s perspective.

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  • 한지원 경희대학교

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