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ERIC Number: ED359799
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Direct Requests Can Also Be Polite.
Mir, Montserrat
A study investigated politeness indicators in the speech of three groups of university students: 37 native Spanish speakers, in Spain; 34 American students; and 33 native Spanish-speakers learning English as a Second Language (ESL) in Spain. Subjects responded to a questionnaire that outlined 24 situations combining 2 contextual variables: 2 degrees of social distance or familiarity, and 3 degrees of social dominance of interlocutors; each of the 6 variable combinations was represented in 4 situations. Subjects were asked what they would say in each situation. The first subject group was given the questionnaire in Spanish; the others were given an English version. Responses were analyzed for lexical forms that served as mitigators in direct requests, including frequency, type of strategy used, and inclusion of the hearer in the request statement. Results do not support the traditional assumption that directness and politeness are incompatible. In particular, the data on Spanish-speakers were characterized by patterns including the hearer in the interaction and considering his needs. Native English-speakers were, in general, more impersonal. The type of politeness encountered in the Spanish sample exemplified "positive politeness." A brief bibliography is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A