Teachers’ Linguistic Politeness in Classroom Interaction: A Pragmatic Analysis

Christian Jay O. Syting, Phyll Jhann E. Gildore


This study aimed to uncover the different structures of linguistic politeness used in the utterances of the teachers in classroom interaction. More specifically, the analysis made use of House and Kasper’s (1981) Politeness Linguistic Expressions, Brown and Levinson’s (1987) Politeness Strategies, and Leech’s (1983) Politeness Maxims. Using observation and interview, several structures of linguistic politeness were unearthed. Firstly, the politeness linguistic expressions involved politeness markers, consultative devices, downtoners, committers, forewarning, hesitators, and agent avoider. Secondly, the politeness strategies involved positive politeness, negative politeness, off-record strategy, and bald-on record strategy. Lastly, the politeness maxims involved tact, approbation, modesty, and agreement maxim. Politeness is a non-value-laden linguistic phenomenon where it does not always mean what people in the here-and-now take it to mean, but there can always be a conventional ways of expressing so in a particular social interaction. The structures of linguistic politenesss do not always lead to conflict-avoidance, but they only contribute to the success of the effect of the expressions used. Hence, whatever may seem to have been considered as conventionally conventionalized or non-conventionalized politeness in a context, several factors must need to be considered for an expression to be a form of politeness strategy that performs supportive facework.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v12n8p133

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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