2 The story so far We classify ourselves and others. How we classify someone determines what rights we think they have.Positive rights to respectNegative rights to freedomThe way we present ourselves in public is our ‘face’, which defines our rights.We can threaten other people’s faces.If we do, we can compensate by politeness.
3 Negative politeness expressions Apology: sorry (It was an accident.)Apology-acceptance: that’s ok (Not important)Request: please (It’s up to you.)Request-acceptance: yes (I’m willing.)Offer: (there you go), bitte (German) (I’m doing this for you.)Gratitude (offer-acceptance): thanks (You didn’t have to do it.)Gratitude-acceptance: not at all (Not important)
5 Discrimination Politeness is for saving other people’s faces. But in fact we don’t give everyone the same rights.At least small children have limited freedom.Slaves (if we have them!) have no rights at all.Nor does ‘the enemy’.
7 Classification matters How we treat others depends on how we classify them.We distinguish the rights of sub-groups of our own group.But our classification may exclude some people altogether from having rights.And what about animal rights?
9 A cautionary taleThen Gilead cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever an Ephraimite fugitive said ‘let me cross’, the men of Gilead asked him to say shibboleth [ear of corn]. If he said sibboleth, they seized and slaughtered him. (Judges 12, 4-6).Language as a badge of membership.Classification decides rights.
10 How to classify other people You can classify them.E.g. as childOr you can classify your relation to them.E.g. as subordinateThese classifications are separate:A child isn’t subordinate to everyone – e.g. not to other children.A subordinate needn’t be a child.
11 Linguistic signalsWe can use two kinds of linguistic signals to show how we classify others and our relations to them.Politeness markersused when we threaten their face.“Social signals”used all the time.E.g. Dick or Professor Hudson?
19 Power Power is a relation between two people. It determines the negative rights they expect of each other.There are 3 logical possibilities:A > B A is superior to BA < B A is subordinate to BA = B A is equal to BA and B negotiate their relationE.g. by signalling linguistically
21 Power in the family X’s Parent > X Sibling of X = X Therefore: X’s grandparent > XSibling of X = XTherefore: X’s uncle/aunt > XEtc.X’s older relative > XTherefore: X’s older sibling > XVaries with cultureX > X’s dog/cat
22 A sociolinguistic universal? X’s relatives call X:By role name, e.g. DadBy given name, e.g. DickX calls senior relatives by role name.X calls junior or equal relatives by given name.
23 Odd naming practicesSome Western families allow given names to senior relatives.Some fathers call their sons ‘son’ (role name).Chinese use role names for junior siblings (younger brother/sister).Etc.
24 Power outside the family Professor > studentBoss > employeeE.g. Provost > professorRoyal > common?Star > fanPolice > publicNB Power relations only exist if they’re accepted by both sides!
25 Language as a power signal Language can signal power of X inThe word that refers to X, e.g. X’s nameThe word that refers to the speakerA word used when addressing X.Words referring to X:Names (title, given, family)Pronouns (e.g. French tu, vous; English thou, you)
26 Respect to the referent Words referring to something linked to X:Honorifics (e.g. Japanese o, ‘honorable’)E.g. boosi, ‘hat’; o-boosi, ‘hat of a superior’A verb of which X is the subject or object (Japanese):Sensei-ga warat-ta, The teacher laughed. (neutral)Sensei-ga o-waraini nat-ta. (same, honorific)
27 Respect to the addressee Words used in addressing X:The root verbE.g. Japanese “He/she/I/they/you came” =Ki-ta (equal)Ki-mas-ta (respectful)Words referring to the speaker:‘Pronouns’ (e.g. Farsi: man or ‘slave’, etc.)
36 SolidaritySolidarity is a characteristic of the relation between two people (very abstract!!).It is independent of power.It determines positive rights expected.High solidarity means social closeness, based on:Social similarity, i.e. shared group allegianceAmount of contact, i.e. mutual knowledge
39 Solidarity signals: verbal Another universal:The signals of power are also used for solidarity.A universal with a few exceptionsThe linked poles:Superior = strangerFrench vousEnglish Professor HudsonInferior = intimateFrench tuEnglish DickWhy?What about the other combinations?
40 Coming shortly:Lecture 6 (after reading week): Accommodation and sociolinguistic variables.Lecture 7: Acts of identity.
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