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Cyberpoliteness: Requesting strategies on the Linguist List
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities.
2001 (English)In: Pragmatics in 2000: Selected papers from the 7th International Pragmatics Conference, Vol. 2 / [ed] Enikö Németh, Antwerp: International Pragmatics Association (IprA) , 2001, p. 409-416Conference paper, Published paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

The increasing popularity of computer-mediated communication (CMC) has recently generated a growing research interest among various scholars around the world. Nevertheless, the explicit or implicit interactional strategies employed in CMC have received very little attention so far. Based on Brown and Levinson’s (1987) framework, this study examines the politeness strategies used in 273 queries sent to an asynchronous electronic forum, the Linguist List. First of all, the results of the structural analysis reveal that the omission of some structural components such as salutations, sender- and/or topic introductions and complementary closings in 64% of the queries is related to the choice of politeness strategies. Thus, the total absence of introductory components in 13% of the data coincides with pure bald-on-record requests.

Secondly, content analysis confirms the assumed predominance of negative politeness strategies in 46% of the queries, while combined with other strategies they are present in no less than 87% of the data. Negative strategies, linguistically realised by the use of hedges, politeness markers, if-clauses, -ing forms, tentative modals etc., appear to be partly caused by the face-threatening potential and the high imposition rate inherent in requests and partly by the senders’ unfamiliarity with the list. Furthermore, a majority of the queries (87%) were found to consist of a blend of at least two strategies. Not surprisingly, positive strategies prevail in merely 18% of the queries. The unexpectedly high rate of predominantly bald-on-record requests (36%) is argued to be a result of some participants’ familiarity with the list and/or their evaluation of the triviality of the request. Off-record or hinting strategies, although present in 16% of the data, were not found to be predominant in any of the queries. To sum up, this study contributes to our understanding of the prevailing patterns of politeness used in cyberspace as well as to the exploration of the nature of pragmatic success in online requesting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Antwerp: International Pragmatics Association (IprA) , 2001. p. 409-416
Keyword [en]
computer-mediated interaction, discussion group, face, facework, linguistic politeness, requesting strategies
National Category
Specific Languages Specific Languages
Research subject
Humanities, English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-2691ISBN: 90-801148-5-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-2691DiVA, id: diva2:202646
Conference
The 7th International Pragmatics Conference (Budapest, 9-14 July 2000)
Available from: 2007-12-04 Created: 2007-12-04 Last updated: 2018-02-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf