PRAGMATICS OF GRAMMATICAL FORMS: MORPHOLOGICAL AND SYNTACTIC MEANS IN THE SERVICE OF EXPRESSING POLITENESS

Author:
Mihaela Matešić, Danijela Marot Kiš
Email:
mmatesic@ffri.hr; dmarot@ffri.hr
Summary
Politeness can be expressed verbally, non-verbally or by merging the verbal and nonverbal means through various strategies in both written and oral (direct and indirect) communication. The foundations of the theory of politeness in linguistic terms were laid in the works of Robin T. Lakoff in the 1970’s and those of Penelope Brown and Steven Levinson in the 1980’s. The phenomenon of verbal, or linguistic, politeness is related to the idea of pragmalinguistic competence as one of the basic elements of communicative competence concerning the choice of adequate means of expression in various linguistic situations. As a pragmalinguistic phenomenon, politeness is achieved through various functions and social meanings of linguistic structures. That is why the theory of (linguistic) politeness is concerned, in addition to other issues, with the typology of linguistic means used for the expression of politeness in different languages and in various communicative situations. The paper analyses the means and methods used to express politeness in the Croatian language on the morphological and the syntactic level. Certain mechanisms for the implementation of politeness strategies are detected, such as the choice between different verb forms (i.e. for the purpose of statement de-imperativization), the choice of morphological means (i.e. the use of personal and reflexive pronouns, especially in pseudo paremiological units, or the use of diminutive), the choice between the syntactic transformations (i.e. the use of interrogatives), and syntactic structures in general, especially with respect to the difference between the syntax of a sentence and that of an utterance. In addition to contributing to the development of the politeness theory, the analysis of morphological and syntactic means also contributes to a more complete description of certain grammatical categories in language manuals.
Key words
politeness; communicative competence; pragmalinguistic competence; morphological and syntactic means; typology
Visits:
566
Downloads:
14
 
 
 
Visits: 23557