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The Face of Politeness

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A Comparative Study
of
Western and Oriental
Politeness Strategies

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1
THE FACE
OF
POLITENESS
A Comparative Study
of
Western and Oriental
Politeness Strategies
Stuart Kelly
Published 2013 by Stuart Kelly, Bradford, England
Taken from an original document 2006
Electronically reprinted 2013
http://www.stuart-kelly.co.uk
© copyright 2013 Stuart Kelly

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A Comparative StudyofWestern and OrientalPoliteness Strategies0THE FACEOFPOLITENESSA Comparative StudyofWestern and OrientalPoliteness StrategiesStuart KellyPublished 2013 by Stuart Kelly, Bradford, EnglandTaken from an original document 2006Electronically reprinted 2013http://www.stuart-kelly.co.uk copyright 2013 Stuart Kelly1Throughout several decades, face has been variously defined as positive ornegative (Brown and Levinson 1987), respectability, identity, individual, group(Spencer-Oatey 2005), mianzi and lian. (Mao 1994, Chen 1991). Despite claims forthe universality of face, there would appear to be no general agreement as to itsprecise nature. Variations have been identified in the ways that differentlanguages and cultures strive to maintain face in every day encounters. Inparticular, striking differences have been pointed out in the strategies used inthe English and Chinese acts of complimenting (Tian and Zhao 2006), addressing(Gu 1990), offering (Chen 1991, Spencer-Oatey 2005) and inviting (Mao1994). Ishall endeavour to demonstrate how various faces might account for thesedifferent strategies.Goffman (1955) introduced a concept of face, which he defined as;the positive social value a person effectively claims for himself bythe line others assume he has taken during a particular contact.(p213)He uses the term, face-work (p216) to describe the actions people take to savetheir own face (defensive orientation) and ...
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