politeness strategies in requests in the thorn birds chiến lược lịch sự trong lời thỉnh cầu trong tiếng chim hót trong bụi mận gai

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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY of POST-GRADUATE STUDIES NGUYỄN THỊ PHƯƠNG THẢO Politeness strategies in requests in “The thorn birds” (Chiến lược lịch sự trong lời thỉnh cầu trong "Tiếng Chim Hót Trong Bụi Mận Gai”) M.A. MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS Field: English Linguistics Code: 60.22.15 HANOI – 2010 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY of OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES NGUYỄN THỊ PHƯƠNG THẢO Politeness strategies in requests in “The thorn birds” (Chiến lược lịch sự trong lời thỉnh cầu trong "Tiếng Chim Hót Trong Bụi Mận Gai”) M.A. MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS Field: English Linguistics Code: 60.22.15 Supervisor: Trần Bá Tiến, M.A. HANOI – 2010 4 Table of contents Declaration………………………………………………………………………………. Acknowledgement……………………………………………………………………… Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………. ………… i ii iii Abbreviations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……… …………… vi Part A: Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………………… 1 1. Rationale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………… 2 2. Aims of the study. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………… … 2 3. Scope of the study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… …. 4. Overview of the work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… 2 2 5. Methods of the study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………… . 3 6. Design of the study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………… . 3 Part b: Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………… …. 4 Chapter 1: Theoretical background. . . . . . . . . …………………… 4 1.1 The Speech act. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . 4 1.1.1 Speech act performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1.1.2 Locutionary act, Illocutionary act, Perlocutionary act. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1.3 Speech act classifications . . . . . . . ………………………. . … . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1.4 The speech act of request . . . . . . . . . . . …………………………………………. 5 6 7 1.2 Politeness and indirectness in requests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1.2.1. Theory of politeness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1.2.1.1 Politeness principles . . . . . . . . . . ……………………………. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2.1.2 The face-management view on politeness. . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . . 10 14 1.2.1.2.1 Face. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………… . . . . . . . . . . . 11 1.2.1.2.2 Face threatening acts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2.1.2.3 Politeness strategies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . . . . . . 15 16 1.2.2 Social factors affecting politeness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………… . . . . . . . . . 1.2.3 Scales of indirectness in requests ………………………………….…………… 18 19 Chapter 2: Politeness strategies in requests in “The Thorn Birds” 22 5 2.1 Positive politeness strategies in requests in “The Thorn Birds” . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 2.1.1 Strategy 1: Notice, attend to H (his interests, wants, needs, goods) . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 2.1.2 Strategy 2: Exaggerate (interest, approval, sympathy with H) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2.1.3 Strategy 3: Intensify interest to H. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . 23 2.1.4 Strategy 4: Use in-group identity markers. . . . . . . . . . ……….…… . . . . . . . . . . 24 2.1.5 Strategy 5: Seek agreement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………. . . . . . 24 2.1.6 Strategy 6: Avoid disagreement. . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 2.1.7 Strategy 7: Presuppose / raise / assert common ground. . . . . . …………… . . . . 26 2.1.8 Strategy 8: Joke. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . 26 2.1.9 Strategy 9: Assert or presuppose S‟s knowledge of and concern for H‟s wants… 27 2.1.10 Strategy 10: Offer, promise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . 27 2.1.11 Strategy 11: Be optimistic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . . 27 2.1.12 Strategy 12: Include both S and H in the activity. . . . . . . ……………. . . . . . . 27 2.1.13 Strategy 13: Give (or ask for) reasons. . . . . . . . . . . ……………. . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 2.1.14 Strategy 14: Assume or assert reciprocity. . . . . . . . . . . ……………… . . . . . . . . 28 2.1.15 Strategy 15: Give gifts to H (goods, sympathy, understanding, cooperation) 28 2.2 Negative politeness strategies manifested in requests in “The Thorn Birds” . . 28 2.2.1 Strategy 1: Be conventionally indirect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . 28 2.2.2 Strategy 2: Question, hedge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . 29 2.2.3 Strategy 3: Be pessimistic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . 30 2.2.4 Strategy 4: Minimize the imposition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………… . . . . . . 30 2.2.5 Strategy 5: Give deference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………… . . . 31 2.2.6 Strategy 6: Apologize. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . . . . . 32 2.2.7 Strategy 7: Impersonalise S and H. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . 32 2.2.8 Strategy 8: State the FTA as a general rule. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………… . . . . 32 2.2.9 Strategy 9: Nominalize. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . 32 2.2.10 Strategy 10: Go on record as incurring a debt, or as not indebting H . . . . . . . . . . 33 2.3 Politeness strategies in requests in “The Thorn Birds” seen from S-H relationship. . 34 2.3.1 Lovers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………… . . . . . . . . 35 2.3.2 Family members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……. . . . . . . . . . . . 35 2.3.3 Acquaintances. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………… . . . . . 36 6 2.3.4 Strangers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………………… 36 PART C: CONCLUSION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………………… 38 REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …… 40 7 Abbreviations FTA : Face Threatening Act H : Hearer/Addressee S : Speaker/Addresser S.A : Speech act D : Distance P : Relative power R : Absolute ranking of imposition e.g. : For example i.e. : That is to say et. al. : and others 8 Part A: Introduction 1. Rationale The basic function of language is “very similar in different societies, though with different linguistic conventions, in all parts of the world, because all people have similar needs, similar relationships, and in general share the same world” Robin (1952:6). This idea must be shared by the fact that language is created as a necessary demand of human life with the final aim, that is for communication in which people exchange information and express their opinions and attitudes. However, how people communicate successfully in certain contexts has inspired to the linguists whose research has contributed a lot to the development of communication among human beings. Any beginning-level Vietnamese students of English easily form the following sentences correctly as firstly having a conversation with an English- speaking person: Are you married? How old are you? But it is rather difficult for that foreigner to accept such personal questions. That is the reason why Richards (1992:32) makes a distinction between the two notions linguistic competence and communicative competence, which refers to “….the ability not only to apply the grammatical rules of a language in order to form grammatically correct sentences but also to know when and where to use these sentences and to whom.” This statement highly appreciates the important role of cultural knowledge in contributing to a successful communication. Being aware of the active part of communication competence is along with setting up appropriate strategies in teaching English for Vietnamese students by giving out variable cultural and social contexts in each English class. And it is advisable to choose politeness situations to illustrate in such those cases because politeness is one of the most great elements effecting the choice of language: “When learning a second language, one needs to acquire the new culture‟s politeness framework, which is very different from that of one‟s own culture” (Celce-Murcia et al 2000:26). Strategies to choose language politely, in fact, reflects most on the way people making a request because request shortly means “to ask your hearer whether he is willing or able to do something” (Leech & Svartvik, 1975:147). Furthermore, during process of researching, we 9 realize that so far little research has focused on politeness strategies in requests in a literature work. Literature is, as being judged, a reflection of society and culture. And the fact that the more a literary work reflects the present life truthfully and vividly, the more successful it will get, since it is said that art is for human sakes, not for art sakes. Therefore language, especially daily language in the literary works will also be presented vividly. And conversational language in a great novel, apparently, is reliable for our observation For those reasons presented above, we decided to choose the topic: “Politeness strategies in requests in “The thorn birds” 2. Aims of the study - To explore how politeness strategies are manifested in the requests in the English language appropriately. - To investigate the ways characters in a literary work operate their requests politely in their conversations. 3. Scope of the study Among linguistic, paralinguistic and non-verbal aspects related to politeness, our study only deals with the first one. It focuses on positive and negative politeness strategies based on Brown & Levinson‟s (1987) theoretical framework. And the data is based on all of the utterances containing the requests made by characters in “The Thorn Birds”. 4. Overview of the work “The Thorn Birds”- as the comment of Sweetie Pie in his “A Book Review of The Thorn Birds”: “Of all of Colleen McCullough's novels, The Thorn Birds made the greatest impact on my ideas of what a great book should be. I was drawn into the story and could not put it down until I finished it a week later”- one of the great works of every time was written by an amateur writer- Collen McCullough in 1976. Being different from some previous works, all whose theme is also about the history of a family in Australia, but they almost reflect the development and the degeneration of the bourgeoisie class. “The Thorn Birds” is the story of three generations in a labour family named Cleary. The next generations, instead of refusing the tradition values left by the previous, inherit and develop those. Simultaneously, getting good characteristics of family such as hard-working, 10 independence, steady enough to pass hard life, they also make some positive changes to catch up with the development of the age. If Fiona- the first generation is brave enough to suffer from every misfortune but give no struggle for the fate, her daughter Meggie- a modern girl tries to get her happiness from the hand of God-having a baby with a priest who she loves, and Justine- Meggie‟s daughter has a quietly different moral standards There are many characters in the novel but the noble ones are Fiona (Fee), Meggie, a priest named Ralph and most of the incidents are surrounded by the love story full of hindrance but romantic between Meggie and Ralph. The development of the novel is not only exposed via the meticulous description of the novelist but importantly, by the conversations among the characters in which we try to find how the characters operate their request politely. 5. Methods of the study Generally, the thesis employed the Quantitative Method, which is defined as a research method that relies less on interviews, observations, small numbers of questionnaires, focus groups, subjective reports and case studies but is much more focused on the collection and analysis of numerical data and statistics. Counting and measuring are common forms of quantitative methods. The result of the research is a number, or a series of numbers. These are often presented in tables, graphs or other forms of statistics which is the science and practice of developing human knowledge through the use of empirical data. 6. Design of the study The thesis comprises three main parts: Part A: Introduction This part includes five sub- parts: the rationale, aims, scope, methods and design of the study. Part B: Content This is the nuclear part of the whole study containing three chapters. Chapter 1: Theoretical background This chapter makes an overview of the theories on Speech Act, Speech Act of request and Politeness theory which are treated as the major grounds for the analysis work. 11 Chapter 2: The study of politeness strategies manifested in requests in conversations in “The Thorn Birds” This chapter finds out how characters in the novel cover politeness strategies in requests in their conversations. Part C: Conclusion This part summarize somewhat has discussed in the above two parts and give some suggestions for further study . [...]... Open the door, please In summary, Chapter 2 has shown some theoretical background of speech act and the relationship of indirectness and politeness that is used as a framework for the next discussion 31 Chapter 2: Politeness strategies in requests in The thorn birds This chapter investigates how the characters in The Thorn Birds manage their requests politely by analyzing the occurrences of politeness. .. a certain point” rather than as absolute rules, and over applying any maxim would lead to the feeling that S is being insincere or tedious In six maxims, Leech considers that the “tact maxim” is the most important in politeness in English speaking society 1.2.1.2 The face-management view on politeness 1.2.1.2.1 Face Face is the central concept in Brown &Levinson‟s theory of politeness According to... the receipt of service and on goods For FTA against positive face, the ranking involves an assessment of the amount of pain given to H‟s face 1.2.3 Scales of indirectness in request In communication, people do not often say directly what they intend In other words, they often say indirectly Some researchers think that the interactants do so because they want to be polite and that indirectness and politeness. .. the exchange of information.” They have proposed a direct relationship between social distance and politeness in such a way as to indicate that an increase in social distance will bring about an increase in the degree of politeness and vice versa The notion of politeness finds meaning when it is studied in the context of face-threatening acts (or FTA‟s) that include positive and negative ones In other... negative politeness aims at softening the encroachment on the addressee‟s freedom of action or freedom from imposition The third strategy, off-record politeness, means flouting one of the Gricean (1975) maxims on the assumption that the addressee is able to infer the intended meaning According to Brown and Levinson, politeness is divided into five strategies to minimize risk of costing face corresponding... generalized politeness as the means employed to show awareness of another person´s face” … and as the idea of polite social behavior or etiquette, within a culture involves certain general principles as being tactful, generous, modest, sympathetic towards others”(G Yule 1996: 60) Referring to requests in particular, a native speaker of the language uses certain strategies in order to maintain norms and principles... between them By using Brown and Levinson's term, this strategy enhances positive face of the speaker and the hearer In this principle, indirectness can be also employed when the speaker 20 and the hearer understand each other completely and there is no need to talk Rule 3 is used when intimate politeness is required And another linguist, Leech (1983:16) lists the politeness principle in order to “minimize... face- saving being one Brown & Levinson (1987) propose, The degree of indirectness is inversely proportional to the degree of face threat” It means that the greater the face threat, the greater the need to use linguistic politeness, and the more indirectness is used However, Blum- Kulka (1987), in her study points out that indirectness is different from politeness If a speaker is too indirect, there... compliments, inherently threaten either the hearer‟s or the speaker‟s face-wants, and that politeness is involved in redressing those face threatening acts (FTA) On the basis of these assumptions, three main strategies for performing speech acts are distinguished: positive politeness, negative politeness and off-record politeness 25 Positive politeness aims at supporting or enhancing the addressee‟s positive... techniques emphasize the sincerity of S‟s good intentions in order to redress the FTA Of all the times the characters in The Thorn Birds use politeness strategies in their requests, 3.75% use strategy 3 2.1.4 Strategy 4: Use in- group identity markers This is one of the strategies that S can use to claim common ground with H S‟s conveyance of H‟s in- group membership can be communicated by the usage of address . INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY of POST-GRADUATE STUDIES NGUYỄN THỊ PHƯƠNG THẢO Politeness strategies in requests in The thorn birds (Chiến lược lịch sự trong lời thỉnh cầu. decided to choose the topic: Politeness strategies in requests in The thorn birds 2. Aims of the study - To explore how politeness strategies are manifested in the requests in the English. of the utterances containing the requests made by characters in The Thorn Birds . 4. Overview of the work The Thorn Birds - as the comment of Sweetie Pie in his “A Book Review of The Thorn
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