IMPOLITENESS IN INTERACTION BOUSFIELD PDF

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Request PDF on ResearchGate | Impoliteness in interaction | This study concerns the nature of Derek Ernest Bousfield at Manchester Metropolitan University. PDF | On Jan 1, , Abhishek Kumar Kashyap and others published Book review: Derek Bousfield, Impoliteness in Interaction. Impoliteness in interaction. Derek Bousfield. John Benjamins Publishing, Amsterdam, $ (hard), pp. Imagine a situation in which a woman comes.


Impoliteness In Interaction Bousfield Pdf

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This study concerns the nature of impoliteness in face-to-face spoken interaction. For more than three decades many pragmatic and sociolinguistic studies of. Impoliteness in interaction ‐ by Derek Bousfield. Karen Tracy About. Related; Information. ePDF PDF · PDF · ePDF PDF · PDF. Tools. impoliteness is, what its function is in interaction and how we can go about Bousfield develops a theoretical position for himself by modifying Brown and.

It is suggested that ways in which taking offence are accomplished are both afforded and constrained by the demonstrable orientation on the part of participants to agreeability in the course of getting acquainted.

His areas of research interest include pragmatics, intercultural communication and conversation analysis. Yet it is also well acknowledged that being impolite is not necessarily the same thing as giving offence, and that participants may or may not take offence in response to ostensibly impolite talk or conduct Bousfield, ; Culpeper, ; Haugh, a.

The relationship between the impoliteness and offence thus needs more careful attention from researchers. Despite its evident importance for impoliteness research, however, the notion of offence has generally been noted only in passing rather than being examined in any great depth to date by researchers, with the notable exception of work by Culpeper.

While not doing justice to the nuanced and complex account he develops in his monograph, impoliteness is essentially construed by Culpeper as a particular attitudinal stance on the part of speakers, while offence is analysed as both a an emotional response on the part of recipients that varies in degree of intensity e. Given studies of impoliteness in interaction have indicated that participants have a range of different response options in the face of perceived impoliteness e.

Culpeper proposes that one key factor that underpins the degree to which offence may be legitimately taken is related to the activity type Levinson in which the impoliteness event occurs.

He suggests that impoliteness may be sanctioned or legitimised in particular contexts e. However, while the salience of particular features of the context, including the activity type in question, may well differ between producers and targets of ostensible impoliteness, it is important to bear in mind that causing and taking offence are not one in the same thing.

In the former case, it is the speaker who is exercising his or her socially-mediated agency, while in the latter case it is the recipient, with respect to a particular action trajectory 2 Journal of Pragmatics Mitchell, forthcoming; Mitchell and Haugh, To put it another way, while causing offence is a social action initiated by a speaker through various kinds of impoliteness triggers Culpeper, , taking offence can be understood as a social action initiated by the recipient in which he or she construes the actions or conduct of the prior speaker or some other person or group of persons as offensive.

Although a complex model outlining the range of different impoliteness triggers that may cause offence has been developed Culpeper, , , , , our understanding of the interactional dynamics of taking offence, while acknowledged as important Bousfield, ; Culpeper, is much more circumscribed.

On this view, taking offence is analysed as a social action in and of itself distinct from any feelings of offence a participant may or may not experience. This means that those persons registering and sanctioning offence in a particular interaction are not only holding another person or group of persons accountable for causing offence, but can themselves be held morally accountable for this taking of offence.

I suggest that taking offence as a form of social cation can be productively theorised as a pragmatic act which is invariably situated with respect to particular activity types and interactional projects therein Culpeper and Haugh, I illustrate this position drawing from analyses of initial interactions amongst speakers of American and Australian English who are not previously acquainted, with the view that this thereby makes a contribution to our understanding of the pragmatics of impoliteness across Englishes.

Taking offence as a pragmatic act Culpeper touches upon offence in his analysis of impoliteness metadiscourse in the course of discussing the semantic domain of offensive, and how it intersects with rude, verbally aggressive and verbally abuse, although interestingly not with impoliteness pp.

In doing so, he focuses on offence as both an emotional response on the part of recipients and as a source of such feelings. This echoes lay definitions of offence and offensive. Early attested usage in the 14th century indicates four senses of offence that are still in use today: 1 attacking or assailing, 2 causing or experiencing a negative emotional state, 3 moral and legal transgressions, and 4 sources of those negative emotional states.

In the case of taking offence, there are arguably two key activities involved, namely, registering and sanctioning offence Haugh, Culpeper, The various ways in which these two activities underpinning the taking of offence can be accomplished lie on a continuum of pragmatic explicitness Culpeper and Haugh, ; Culpeper, , ranging from different forms of metapragmatic comments through to various types of im politeness implicatures.

These practices are, however, invariably afforded by particular situations. In order to better understand those affordances or constraints, then, such practices are arguably more productively analysed as situated with respect to various kinds of sociocultural knowledge schema, including activity types Culpeper and Haugh, The relevance of activity types for the analysis of the pragmatics of social actions Thomas, , including advice e.

Culpeper, Crawshaw and Harrison, , has already been attested in previous work. In order to understand taking offence as a pragmatic act, then, it is arguably important to consider the way in which it is both afforded and constrained with respect to particular activity types, and the interactional projects that are accomplished therein.

In the following section, we thus move to consider the taking of offence that occurs within a particular activity type, namely, initial interactions where participants are getting acquainted.

Taking offence in initial interactions Initial interactions in which participants are getting acquainted appear to constitute a good candidate for analysis as an activity type. While there is not space here to develop an argument in full, close interactional analysis of initial interactions amongst American and Australian speakers of English and likely British speakers as well indicates this preference for agreement Sacks, ; cf.

Brown and Levinson, is regularly accomplished by 2 The preliminary analysis undertaken in this section is part of a larger research project on Americans and Australians getting acquainted.

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See Haugh and Carbaugh for further details about the dataset in question. For instance, although explicitly claiming offence in the form of a metapragmatic comment e. In this sense, then, Jill is registering incipient offence. Fen responds in lines with an intention-denial claim, although she nevertheless goes on to deliver disparaging comments about Americans see Mitchell and Haugh [] for further discussion.

In other cases, participants may initially disattend the impoliteness trigger, and delay metapragmatic comments about taking offence until after the event in question has passed. Just prior to excerpt 2 , for instance, Tammy has asked Nathan what other kinds of IT- related work he does. Through this jocular self-deprecation Haugh, b , he navigates between the preference for agreement and the preference for avoiding self-praise in compliment responses Pomerantz, Tammy then responds with laughter and another positive assessment line , thereby interactionally achieving the mockery as non-serious.

In this way, then, Tammy takes a moral stance whereby she sanctions this as an offence on the part of Nathan. Notably, this is in spite of recognising this reference by Nathan to have been jocular in intent line see Haugh [forthcoming] for further discussion.

As Haugh suggests, one means by which participants may indicate they have taken offence is through impoliteness implicatures. Implicatures may, of course, vary in their degree of pragmatic explicitness with respect to the transparency of their illocutionary point, target and semantic content Culpeper and Haugh, , a characteristic which may be exploited by participants in increasing the degree of deniability as to whether they have indeed taken offence.

Prior to excerpt 4 , for instance, Natalie has been repeatedly exhorting Gary to reciprocate by asking her some questions as well. Notably, he does not orient to the negative assessment itself as impolite see Haugh [ , ] for further discussion. Immediately following this exchange, Sally proffers a complaint about her ex-boyfriend who happened to be American. American boyfriend, like- 0.

Impoliteness. Using Language to Cause Offence

In other words, the inference that a complaint is also being directed at the addressee is licensed by its sequential placement, although whether Peter is indeed the target is not transparent.

It thus constitutes a subtle means by which Sally is able to register that she may have taken offence. Yet the inference is clearly defeasible, and Peter himself treats it as directed only at the ex-boyfriend line , despite an earlier open-mouthed expression indicating surprise Sendra, Kaland, Swerts and Prieto, , and in that sense it remains embedded.

The tentative analysis that was undertaken in this section has indicated that taking offence in interaction is not simply a response to the perceived intentions of a prior speaker or breaches of perceived social norms. It has also been proposed that the activity of getting acquainted in initial interactions 8 Journal of Pragmatics both affords and constrains the means by which recipients may take offence, at least in ways that do not readily open themselves to the charge of being impolite or offensive.

For these reasons it has been argued that taking offence deserves to be studied as a pragmatic act that is invariably situated with respect to various different activity types and the interactional projects that are accomplished therein. Conclusion In this paper, we have briefly discussed a number of ways in which participants may indicate they have taken offence in initial interactions.

The strategies of employing impoliteness, first advanced in the seminal article Culpeper, , are not overtly addressed but emerge in a data-driven analysis of metalanguage Culpeper in Dynel, a. Spencer-Oatey, , i.

Given the wide range of topics and research strands pursued in the book, only a few can be addressed here, for reasons of space. Since impoliteness is widely recognised by language users, Culpeper devotes ample space to its metalinguistic analysis. Incidentally, a very careful reader may note a minor misprint in the description of Table 3. This discussion of labels is linked to the phenomenon of impoliteness metadiscourse.

He underscores that thought influences language and language influences thought, which may be associated with linguistic relativity. Culpeper does acknowledge the connection but does not dwell on the Sapir--Whorf hypothesis.

Yet another interesting issue connected with impoliteness metadiscourse is the notion of metapragmatic comments. Culpeper addresses the vexing question of whether impoliteness is inherent in language. He admits that context is immensely important in recognising impoliteness, yet he emphasises that the role of context may blur the fact that linguistic expressions also play a role in the inferential process.

Culpeper posits conventionalised impoliteness formulae cf. Culpeper, , which typically promote impoliteness, as a result of the conventionalisation of context-specific impoliteness effects. Culpeper, however, rejects this premise of the notion of conventionalised impoliteness formulae, rightly arguing that they may be based on indirect experience or even solely on metadiscourse.

This is a tenable conceptualisation, as evidenced by swearing, for example.

Language users are well aware that swearing is generally in formal contexts or in public discourse regarded as impolite, even if they do not need to have had any direct experience of producing or listening to foul language. Apart from conventionalised impoliteness, Culpeper proposes implicational impoliteness. When discussing formdriven impoliteness, he specifies the characteristics of impolite mimicry.

The speech samples are analysed acoustically. The vowels are plotted on two vowel diagrams, with RP vowels used for reference. What seems problematic here is that Culpeper compares isolated sounds produced by a male and a female speaker. Such a comparison would normally take into account the differences in the structure of the male and female vocal tracts Fry, ; Lieberman and Blumstein, ; Watt et al.

The remaining examples of mimicry in Chapter 5 are analysed in terms of pitch contour. Culpeper, , , as well as normalisation. Neutralisation captures cases in which the target of impoliteness is aware that the context blocks genuine impoliteness, and the utterance is not meant to be genuinely offensive.

Sanctioning, or legitimisation, in turn, means that potentially impolite behaviour inheres in a particular activity type. Culpeper convincingly argues that the ideology of legitimisation values impoliteness as positive.

Also, legitimisation is most pronounced in institutional structures which relates to the main difference between legitimisation and normalisation, the latter being the same process, but pertinent to private domains. It appears that personal and cultural norms have a stronger effect on the target than situational and co-textual norms, thus making the target feel offended even if the context and co-text should suggest that an utterance is not intended to be taken as an insult.

In order to support his hypothesis, Culpeper cites a number of socio-psychological studies. The workings of sanctioned but not neutralised impoliteness are illustrated with examples from The Weakest Link see Culpeper, The contestants are aware of the nature of the programme, expecting impoliteness, which they should duly take for granted.

The analysis of The Weakest Link is also connected with a type of impoliteness labelled by Culpeper as entertaining. These concepts have been investigated in more detail under the incongruity theory of humour, as well as the superiority theory of humour see Dynel, , b.

Culpeper does acknowledge the connection but does not dwell on the Sapir--Whorf hypothesis. Yet another interesting issue connected with impoliteness metadiscourse is the notion of metapragmatic comments. Culpeper addresses the vexing question of whether impoliteness is inherent in language.

He admits that context is immensely important in recognising impoliteness, yet he emphasises that the role of context may blur the fact that linguistic expressions also play a role in the inferential process. Culpeper posits conventionalised impoliteness formulae cf. Culpeper, , which typically promote impoliteness, as a result of the conventionalisation of context-specific impoliteness effects.

Culpeper, however, rejects this premise of the notion of conventionalised impoliteness formulae, rightly arguing that they may be based on indirect experience or even solely on metadiscourse.

This is a tenable conceptualisation, as evidenced by swearing, for example. Language users are well aware that swearing is generally in formal contexts or in public discourse regarded as impolite, even if they do not need to have had any direct experience of producing or listening to foul language. Apart from conventionalised impoliteness, Culpeper proposes implicational impoliteness. When discussing formdriven impoliteness, he specifies the characteristics of impolite mimicry.

The speech samples are analysed acoustically. The vowels are plotted on two vowel diagrams, with RP vowels used for reference. What seems problematic here is that Culpeper compares isolated sounds produced by a male and a female speaker. Such a comparison would normally take into account the differences in the structure of the male and female vocal tracts Fry, ; Lieberman and Blumstein, ; Watt et al.

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The remaining examples of mimicry in Chapter 5 are analysed in terms of pitch contour. Culpeper, , , as well as normalisation. Neutralisation captures cases in which the target of impoliteness is aware that the context blocks genuine impoliteness, and the utterance is not meant to be genuinely offensive. Sanctioning, or legitimisation, in turn, means that potentially impolite behaviour inheres in a particular activity type.

Culpeper convincingly argues that the ideology of legitimisation values impoliteness as positive. Also, legitimisation is most pronounced in institutional structures which relates to the main difference between legitimisation and normalisation, the latter being the same process, but pertinent to private domains.

It appears that personal and cultural norms have a stronger effect on the target than situational and co-textual norms, thus making the target feel offended even if the context and co-text should suggest that an utterance is not intended to be taken as an insult.

Book Reviews

In order to support his hypothesis, Culpeper cites a number of socio-psychological studies. The workings of sanctioned but not neutralised impoliteness are illustrated with examples from The Weakest Link see Culpeper, The contestants are aware of the nature of the programme, expecting impoliteness, which they should duly take for granted.

The analysis of The Weakest Link is also connected with a type of impoliteness labelled by Culpeper as entertaining. These concepts have been investigated in more detail under the incongruity theory of humour, as well as the superiority theory of humour see Dynel, , b. It provides the reader with new insights into this field of investigation, bringing together findings from a number of disciplines so that they create a heterogeneous but, at the same time, harmonious description of impoliteness.

Using Language to Cause Offence is a must-read for enterprising students and seasoned researchers of impoliteness. The monograph will serve as a challenging textbook and as a thorough reliable consolidation of research on impoliteness. References Boersma, Paul, Weenink, David, Praat: doing phonetics by computer [Praat Manual]. Version 5. Bousfield, Derek, Sperber, Dan, Wilson, Deidre, Impoliteness revisited: with special reference to dynamic and prosodic aspects.

And not with some hollow bullshit apology, or that cute little sad face that might work on your fucking boyfriend. Locher, Miriam, Blackwell, Oxford. In this paper, it is suggested that previous work on causing offence Culpeper, can be usefully complemented by an analysis of taking offence. Communication and Cognition 2nd edn.

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