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Perception of (im)politeness and the underlying cultural conceptualisations

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Abstract

The present study sets out to investigate the role of ‘culture’ as one of the many important factors that influence the evaluation of (im)politeness in Persian from a Cultural Linguistics perspective. The paper argues that Cultural Linguistics, and in particular the notion of cultural schema, has the potential to offer a robust analytical framework for the exploration of (im)polite use of language. We elaborate on this proposal by presenting examples of data from Persian in which speakers interpret impolite behaviour in light of a number of Persian cultural schemas. The study also offers a novel three-layered approach for the analysis of (im)politeness data that combines metadiscourse analysis with the ethnography of cultural conceptualisations, while highlighting the importance of the notion of ‘heterogeneous distribution’ of cultural conceptualisations, a pivotal theoretical concept in Cultural Linguistics which accounts for the variations in speakers’ evaluation of (im)politeness.
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Keywords: (im)politeness; Cultural Linguistics; Persian; cultural schema

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 31, 2017

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