The Varying Definition Of Politeness Across Cultures English Language Essay
1.1 Background of the survey
The definition of niceness varies across civilizations and the claims for universals have shown divergency and besides deficiency of lucidity as they have received serious attending since the Brown and Levinson theory was proposed ( 1978, 1987 ) . Lakoff ( 1989 ) defined the term ‘Polite ‘ as the usage of niceness regulations irrespective of outlook whereas the term ‘non-polite ‘ behaviour refers to the act of non utilizing niceness regulations when they are non expected. The Brown and Levinson ‘s ( B & A ; L ‘s ) theoretical account has contributed a batch in the survey of politeness discourse although there are many unfavorable judgments that have been made by some research workers due to its deficiency of lucidity refering the definition of niceness and attendant constructs of across surveies and within the same surveies ( A. J. Meier, 1995 ) . Furthermore, the B & A ; L ‘s theory is said to be ethnocentric because it is derived straight from the high value which is based on individuality in the Western civilization ( Kasper, 1990: 252-253 ) and the fact that their differentiation between the negative and positive niceness is doubtful ( Meier, 1995: 384 ) . Goffman ‘s ( 1967 ) work has besides contributed a batch in the field of politeness discourse and has become one of the most important in the research of linguistic communication usage. Goffman has introduced the impression of face ( B & A ; L, 1987: 61 ) . The B & A ; L defined the term niceness in footings of talkers ‘ demand to state things which enable them to extenuate the infliction inherent in address Acts of the Apostless and besides the face that those speech Acts of the Apostless threaten including the face of the talker every bit good as the face of others. A mitigated signifier is a signifier that is used in address by showing a given prepositional content in order non to pique others ( Linde, 1988 ) . Harmonizing to Leech ( 1983 ) , niceness is needed and of import in the theory of lingual pragmatics in order to explicate the grounds that cause talkers to go against Grice ‘s Co-operative rules and its axioms. Self-politeness is taken earnestly in Leech ‘s model. The self-politeness is of import in the theory of lingual niceness because it involves the face of the talker which tends to be every bit vulnerable as the face of the listener. This exposure is viewed in two ways and is described in the B & A ; L theoretical account. First, there are speech Acts of the Apostless that threaten faces of others and address Acts of the Apostless that threaten the self-face. Second, the face of the talker can besides be attacked by the listener merely as the face of the listener can be attacked by the talker in a conversation.
Brown and Levinson have devoted an full book of niceness although its construct is ne’er really defined. They focused on two types of niceness schemes which are the negative and positive schemes that are used in order to cut down the infliction or menace to an addressee ‘s face upon the passage of an inherently face-threatening act. Negative schemes are characterized as looks of restraint, formality, and distancing whereas positive schemes are described as looks of solidarity, familiarity, informality, and acquaintance ( A. J. Meier, 1995 ) . These schemes focus on the positive and negative face impressions. Positive face refers to a individual ‘s self-pride and how he or she wants to be appreciated and accepted by the society. On the other manus, negative face refers to a individual ‘s freedom to move. Every person has the rights to be involved in doing determination. Speakers have to execute assorted speech Acts of the Apostless in communicating and these Acts of the Apostless tend to endanger the face of the talker or the listener or both which can do misinterpretations among them. There are five superstrategies that were proposed by the Brown and Levinson theory which are:
Without redressive action, baldly
Withhold the FTA
Discourtesy is the contrast of the term niceness. Lakoff ( 1989 ) defined the term ‘rude ‘ as an act that neglects niceness regulations when they are in fact expected although there is no lucidity in sing what niceness regulations consist of and on what footing they are determined in order to be considered as polite ( A. J. Meier,1995 ) . An apology is an act of niceness which is stated in Holmes ( 1990: 156 ) and is practised in most civilizations of the universe. Harmonizing to Britain ( 1992 ) , high rise tones which are used in declaratory sentences are considered as markers of niceness in New Zealand English. In the work of Bublitz ( 1980 ) , the footings please, merely, inactive voice, and tag inquiries are considered as the looks of niceness. Politeness modus operandis such as “ Thank you ” and “ You ‘re welcome ” are besides indispensable in communicating. In order non to sound ill-mannered when talking to others, the appropriate niceness schemes should be implied and practised which can avoid misinterpretations between the talkers and listeners. Harmonizing to Janney and Arndt ( 1992 ) , tact resembles the B & A ; L ‘s constructs and it is of import in order to avoid struggles. Blum-Kulka ( 1989:67 ) on the other manus considers tact as an facet of the appropriate polite behavior. Kasper ( 1990:200 ) argued that the schemes and agencies of niceness are non precisely endowed with niceness values, which creates a inquiry grade in one ‘s head. If polite schemes are non ever polite as what is said by her, one would inquire what qualifies them as niceness schemes to get down with. Furthermore, some would reason that there is no peculiar manner nor peculiar syntactic buildings ( Fraser and Nolen, 1981 ; Zimin, 1981 ) can be polite or impolite. Many would oppugn when and where to be polite and this is when sociolinguistic competency becomes of import. Sociolinguistic competency is the cognition of appropriate linguistic communication usage ( Joseph A. DeVito, 2008 ) . Lakoff ( 1989: 103 ) made an equate lucidity with non-politeness where she maintained that niceness merely differs in importance depending on the discourse genre which she believed that the more transactional the interaction is, the less of import niceness will be.
1.2 Statement of the job
The catholicity of niceness is yet to be clarified because niceness varies across civilizations which create jobs in set uping nonsubjective steps for application across civilizations. In this instance, misinterpretations in communicating can happen when 1 is incognizant of another 1 ‘s civilization. Ehlich ( 1992 ) has warned of the dangers of ethnocentricity in finding the criterions of niceness that apply to all groups whereas Hymes ( 1986:49 ) emphasized on the cautiousnesss of the inclinations in seeking the satisfaction of cosmopolitan model without sing the empirical insufficiency of them. Malaysia is a state that consists of assorted ethnics that have different patterns, civilizations and beliefs. Its biggest cultural groups are the Malays, followed by the Chinese, Indian, and in conclusion the minority ethnics. Politeness is of import because it can do misinterpretations if it is non taken earnestly. However, due to the civilization differences niceness is viewed otherwise by different groups of society in Malaysia. The B & A ; L ‘s theoretical account can non be applied in some of these civilizations because they do non look to carry through each other ‘s wants. Gu ( 1990 ) argued that the B & A ; L ‘s constructs are non equal to account for facets of Chinese and Matsumoto ( 1988, 1989 ) argued that the B & A ; L ‘s impression of face with its single territorial rights can non be applied to the Nipponese since the Japanese are more concerned with positional relation to others instead than with the single district.
Everyone has the inclination to be ill-mannered when talking to other people and they can in fact take to be or non to be ill-mannered whenever and wherever they want. However, does this mean that they do non cognize the regulations of niceness? Harmonizing to the B & A ; L theory of niceness, an vocalization is considered polite when there is an implicature that is generated due to the misdemeanor of the colloquial axioms in order to salvage the face of others. An vocalization can be polite even though the implicature is non. If that is so, how can person state when person else meant to be polite or rude? A talker ‘s communicating competency is correlated to the grade of niceness. In order to be a competent talker, one must possess communicative competency which consists of four types of competences which are Grammatical competency, Sociolinguistic competency, Discourse competency, and Strategic competency. Grammatical competency is the command of the linguistic communication and Sociolinguistic competency is the cognition of appropriate linguistic communication usage. Discourse competency on the other manus means the cognition of how to link vocalizations in a text in order to do certain it is both cohesive and coherent. Finally, strategic competency refers to the command of the schemes used by talkers to counterbalance for dislocations in communicating every bit good as the schemes that they use in order to heighten the effectivity of the communications.
The B & A ; L ‘s theoretical account agreed with Grice ‘s co-operative rules and the conversational axiom which consider niceness as portion of rational communicating. Grice ‘s theory assumed that communicating involves the purpose of a talker which is directed at a listener and intended to be recognized ( Brown and Levinson, 1987:7 ) and that communicating is governed by a rational Cooperative Principle and besides a figure of axioms which give rise to colloquial implicatures ( 1987:3 ) . The co-operative rules emphasized four axioms which are the axiom of measure, axiom of quality, axiom of relation, and axiom of mode which are formulated under the premise that the common intent of the talk exchange is to be maximally efficient and dependable. If one has to follow the B & A ; L ‘s constructs, one likely has to scoff the co-operative rules. One ‘s vocalization can be polite even if the talker does n’t intend anything polite. One can be ill-mannered even though it is non done on intent and one can be polite even though it is non meant. Harmonizing to Grice ( 1957:219, 1968:122 ) , in order to intend something by an vocalization one must hold the purpose to bring forth some consequence in an audience by agencies of the acknowledgment of this purpose. In short, one can take to follow the Brown and Levinson ‘s constructs or pretermit its message to salvage the face of others.
Breaks are non tolerated in the English linguistic communication but it is tolerated in the Italian linguistic communication. It is considered rude for a individual to disrupt another individual ‘s address in the English civilization. ( Brian Paltridge, 2005 ) . Break is besides considered as a Face Threatening Act. ( Jonas Pfister, 2010 ) . For this ground, break is considered ill-mannered among Malaysians for illustration disrupting a individual ‘s conversation when he or she is non finished speaking. If this is true, what about the pattern of breaks in a argument competition? One may oppugn when and where can politeness be applied. Some would even see break by permission in a conversation is tolerable. If so, one may oppugn the truth of the definition of the footings ‘rude ‘ and ‘polite ‘ . Both competent and unqualified talkers can take to pretermit the niceness regulations whenever they want and yet, they are still considered as competent and unqualified talkers of a linguistic communication.
1.3 Aims of survey
This survey seeks to:
To look into the niceness patterns among competent and unqualified talkers of English in Malaysia.
To understand the many grounds that lead to rudeness among most unqualified and competent talkers of English in their conversations.
To give counsel to incompetent and competent talkers of English in assisting them to understand the niceness schemes.
To assist us understand the demands in educating these incompetent and competent talkers of English in linguistic communication use.
1.4 Research inquiries
The followers are the research inquiries for the survey:
1.4.1 What are the factors that cause incompetent and competent talkers of English to hold the inclinations to sound rude in their addresss?
1.4.2 What are the ways that may assist the incompetent and competent talkers of English in bettering their addresss?
Who are responsible in assisting the incompetent and competent talkers of English in bettering their addresss?
When and where should the incompetent and competent talkers of English be polite when holding a conversation with others?
Significance of the Study
This survey is of import in order to assist us understand about the jobs faced by the incompetent and competent talkers of English in their mundane conversations. This survey is besides concern whether there is a demand for axiom of niceness in our mundane conversation. Politeness is barely defined due to the deficiency of elucidation of its term and its definition has been argued by many research workers in their assorted theories of niceness. Research workers such as Lakoff ( 1973 ) , Leech ( 1983 ) , Kingwell ( 1993 ) , Davis ( 1998 ) , and Kalia ( 2004, 2007 ) believed that a axiom of niceness is needed in our mundane conversation and their positions will assist us to understand the significance of the term polite. This survey besides explores the competent and unqualified talker of English in Malaysia ‘s point of positions of the term polite based on their ain apprehensions and patterns since niceness can differ across civilizations. I will besides explicate why the Brown and Levinson ‘s theory is non satisfactory and can non be universally accepted. Through this survey, a Malayan position of the term polite can be explored, understood and compared.
Scope of the survey
This survey is conducted in Fakulti Bahasa Moden dan Komunikasi ( FBMK ) UPM which is confined to the population of 12 selected ESL scholars in Malaysia. All of the respondents are picked indiscriminately from 3 major races in Malaysia which are Malay, Chinese, and India besides. However, the indigens of Sabah and Sarawak are non included.
Definition of Footings
For the intent of the survey, the undermentioned footings are defined below in order to ease a better apprehension of the survey ‘s chief concern.
The term ‘polite ‘ refers to the usage of niceness regulations irrespective of outlook ( Lakoff, 1989 ) . Besides that, an vocalization is considered polite if and merely if there is an implicature that is generated due to the misdemeanor of a colloquial axiom because of concerns of face ( Brown and Levinson, 1987 ) .
The term ‘non-polite ‘ refers to the behavior of non utilizing niceness regulations and yet non expected ( Lakoff,1989 ) .
The term ‘rude ‘ on the other manus includes the disregarding of the niceness regulations when they are in fact expected ( Lakoff, 1989 ) .
1.7.4 Positive Face
The term ‘Positive face ‘ refers to the privation that the wants be desirable to others and besides the wants be approved of by others ( Brown and Levinson, 1987 ) .
1.7.5 Negative Face
The term ‘Negative face ‘ refers to the privation of every member that his wants be desirable to at least some others. Negative niceness is said to be more polite than the positive niceness.