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Towards an Anatomy of Impoliteness

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Towards an Anatomy of Impoliteness

Abstract

Politeness theories have focussed on how communicative strategies are employed to promote or maintain social harmony in interaction. On the other hand, little work has been done on communicative strategies with the opposite orientation, that of attacking one's interlocutor and causing disharmony. In this paper, I consider the notions of inherent and mock impoliteness, and discuss contextual factors associated with impoliteness. In particular, I attempt to build an impoliteness framework which is parallel but opposite to Brown and Levinson's (1987) theory of politeness. Finally, I demonstrate that in some contexts — specifically that of army training and literary drama — impoliteness behaviour is not a marginal activity, and that we need an appropriate descriptive framework in order to account for it.
ELSEVIER Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
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Towards an anatomy of impoliteness
Jonathan Culpeper
Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University,
Lancaster LA1 4YT, UK
Received August 1994; revised version January 1995
Abstract
Politeness theories have focussed on how communicative strategies are employed to pro-
mote or maintain social harmony in interaction. On the other hand, little work has been done
on communicative strategies with the opposite orientation, that of attacking one's interlocutor
and causing disharmony. In this paper, I consider the notions of inherent and mock impolite-
ness, and discuss contextual factors associated with impoliteness. In particular, I attempt to
build an impoliteness framework which is parallel but opposite to Brown and Levinson's
(1987) theory of politeness. Finally, I demonstrate that in some contexts - specifically that of
army training and literary drama - impoliteness behaviour is not a marginal activity, and that
we need an appropriate descriptive frlmaework in order to account for it.
1. Introduction
Over the last twenty years politeness theories have concentrated on how we
employ communicative strategies to maintain or promote social harmony:
[The role of the Politeness Principle is] "to maintain the social equilibrium and the friendly relations
which enable us to assume that our interlocutors are being cooperative in the first place." (Leech,
1983: 82)
"... politeness, like formal diplomatic protocol (for which it must surely be the model), presupposes that
potential for aggression as it seeks to disarm it, and makes possible communication between potentially
aggressive parties." (Brown and Levinson, 1987: 1)
o An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the Poetics and Linguistics Association conference
held at Sheffield Hallam University (April 1994). I would like to thank participants for their comments.
In addition, I especially thank my sister Helen Culpeper for furnishing me with the army camp data. and
Elena Semino and Mick Short for reading and commenting on drafts of this paper. I am also indebted
to the comments of two anonymous reviewers. Needless to say, responsibility for the final version lies
with me.
0378-2166/96/$15.00 © 1996 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
SSDI 0378-2166(95)00014-3
350
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
"Politeness can be defined as a means of minimizing confrontation in discourse - both the possibility of
confrontation occurring at all, and the possibility that a confrontation will be perceived as threatening."
(Lakoff, 1989: 102)
In this paper I shall investigate
impoliteness,
the use of strategies that are designed
to have the opposite effect - that of social disruption. These strategies are oriented
towards attacking face, an emotionally sensitive concept of the self (Goffman, 1967;
Brown and Levinson, 1987).
The idea that the scope of a politeness theory might be extended to include antag-
onistic or confrontational communication is not new. Craig et al. (1986) and Tracy
(1990) argue that an adequate account of the dynamics of interpersonal communica-
tion should consider hostile as well as cooperative communication. In analysing
American courtroom discourse, both Lakoff (1989) and Penman (1990) extended
their models of politeness to include features of confrontational discourse. Lui
(1986), investigating politeness in a Chinese novel, discussed impoliteness as an
extension of Brown and Levinson's theory of politeness (1987). j However, none of
these studies focus comprehensively on impoliteness in an attempt to improve our
understanding of its operation and its theoretical basis.
In this paper I shall start by considering inherent impoliteness and mock impolite-
ness; I will then move on to discuss the contextual factors that are associated with
impoliteness and to propose a list of impoliteness strategies. I shall conclude my dis-
cussion by focussing on the discourse of an army training camp and the discourse of
drama. Here, as I will demonstrate, Leech's claim that conflictive communication
tends to be "rather marginal to human linguistic behaviour in normal circumstances"
(1983: 105) does not apply.
2. Inherent impoliteness
Leech (1983) makes a distinction between 'Relative Politeness' and 'Absolute
Politeness'. Relative politeness refers to the politeness of an act relative to a partic-
ular context, whereas absolute politeness refers to the politeness associated with acts
independent of context. Within absolute politeness, Leech argues, "some illocutions
(e.g. orders) are inherently impolite, and others (e.g. offers) are inherently polite"
(Leech, 1983: 83). Similarly, Brown and Levinson (1987), working within a face-
oriented model of politeness, write that "it is intuitively the case that certain kinds of
acts intrinsically threaten face" (1987: 65); in other words, they argue that certain
acts (e.g. orders, threats, criticisms) run counter to one's positive face, the want to be
approved of, and/or one's negative face, the want to be unimpeded.
If one considers acts in the abstract, one might broadly concur with the idea that
some acts are inherently polite, whilst others are inherently impolite. However, one
For earlier and more general research on conflict in interaction, see Brown and Levinson (1987:
26-27).
J. Culpeper /Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367 351
must bear in mind that any assessment of politeness outside the theorist's vacuum
will take context into account. Fraser and Nolan (1981) make this point:
"... no sentence is inherently polite or impolite. We often take certain expressions to be impolite, but it
is not the expressions themselves but the conditions under which they are used that determines the judg-
ment of politeness." (1981: 96)
It is not difficult to think of examples where a supposedly impolite act will be judged
as polite in a particular context (or as falling somewhere between the two extremes
on a continuum ranging from politeness to impoliteness). An order could be con-
ceived as polite in a context where it is thought to be of benefit to the target (for
example, "Go on, eat up" as an order for a dinner guest to tuck in to some delicacy).
However, in some instances the conjunction of act and context does give rise to
impoliteness that may be said to be inherent, since it cannot be completely mitigated
by any surface realisation of politeness. For instance, recently I was one of three pas-
sengers in a car driven by a somewhat nervous driver who had left the windscreen
wipers on even though it was not raining. I wished to tell the driver to turn them off,
but any form of request would have the unfortunate effect of drawing attention to the
fact that the wipers had rather foolishly been left on, and thus damage the positive
face of the driver. I was faced with a clash of goals: I wished to be polite, but no
amount of politeness work could eradicate the impoliteness of the act I wished to
perform. I reached an impasse and said nothing. A fellow passenger tried "Is it rain-
ing?". This did achieve its goal of getting the driver to turn off the wipers, but for
all its superficially polite indirectness, it still embarrassed the driver in pointing out
an apparent deficit in driving ability.
The notion of inherent impoliteness irrespective of contexts only holds for a
minority of acts. For example, acts which draw attention to the fact that the target is
engaged in some anti-social activity (e.g. picking nose or ears, farting) seem to be
inherently impolite. It is difficult to think of politeness work or a change of context
that can easily remove the impoliteness from an utterance such as "Do you think you
could possibly not pick your nose'?-2 The reason why these acts may be described as
inherently impolite is as follows. According to Brown and Levinson (1987: 1),
politeness comes about through one's orientation towards what Goffman called the
'virtual offense' (Goffman, 1971" 138ff.). In other words, by demonstrating concern
for the face-threatening potential of an act, one shows that one has the other's inter-
ests at heart. An inherently impolite act does not involve virtual or potential offence;
it is in its very performance offensive and thus not amenable to politeness work. In
the example, "Do you think you could possibly not pick your nose?", the face-
threatening potential in the request to desist from a particular line of activity can be
mitigated by politeness work, but the face damage incurred in drawing attention to
an anti-social habit cannot. This explanation for inherently impolite acts also applies
2 If the 'anti-social' act is established as an acceptable norm (as in the case of burping in certain
cultures) then, of course, the act would not be impolite. In the cultures I am aware of, nose picking
is not acceptable.
352
J. Culpeper /Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
to the inherent impoliteness arising from the conjunction of act and context, as in the
windscreen wipers example. In both cases the fiction of the potential face threat is
not available for politeness work. Instead, by drawing attention to an undesirable
aspect of the addressee, the utterance inflicts unavoidable damage to his or her
positive face.
3. Mock impoliteness
Mock impoliteness, or banter, is impoliteness that remains on the surface, since it
is understood that it is not intended to cause offence. For example, I once turned up
late for a party, and upon explaining to the host that I had mistaken 17.00 hours for
7 o'clock, I was greeted with a smile and the words "You silly bugger". I knew that
the impoliteness was superficial, it was not really meant, and that I had been
accepted into the party. Leech (1983) attempts to capture this kind of phenomenon
within his Banter Principle:
"In order to show solidarity with h, say something which is (i) obviously untrue, and (ii) obviously
impolite to h" [and this will give rise to an interpretation such that] "what s says is impolite to h and
is clearly untrue. Therefore what s really means is polite to h and true." (1983: 144)
Leech argues that banter reflects and fosters social intimacy (i.e. relative equality in
terms of authority and closeness in terms of social distance): the more intimate a
relationship, the less necessary and important politeness is. In other words, lack of
politeness is associated with intimacy, and so being superficially impolite can pro-
mote intimacy. Clearly, this only works in contexts in which the impoliteness is
understood to be untrue. Leech, however, neglects to specify what these contexts
might be.
If lack of politeness is associated with intimacy (an idea which is reflected in
Brown and Levinson's model), surface impoliteness is, paradoxically, even more
likely to be interpreted as banter in non-intimate contexts, where it is more clearly at
odds with expectations. This can be illustrated with the advertising slogan, "Eat beef
-
You bastards",3 used by an Australian meat retailer. One may suppose that the pro-
totypical customer is both socially distant from the retailer and more powerful than
the retailer (in so far as the customer has the power to determine the success or oth-
erwise of the retailer's goals). Clearly, the retailer is not in a position to employ a
derogatory term of address, and has nothing to gain from doing so: it is obviously
banter. Some support for this argument can be found in Slugoski and Tumbull's
(1988) investigation of the interpretation of ironic compliments and insults. Though
the power variable was not included in their model, they did examine the effect of
social distance. Subjects tended to interpret an insult as polite (i.e. as banter) in con-
ditions of high social distance. More importantly, their study revealed the even
stronger influence of affect (liking or disliking) operating as an independent variable.
3 This example is taken from Simpson (1994).
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
353
The more people like each other, the more concern they are likely to have for each
other's face. Thus insults are more fikely to be interpreted as banter when directed at
targets liked by the speaker.
Banter, of course, also exists in a more ritualised form as a kind of language game.
In America this is known variously as 'sounding', 'playing the dozens' or 'signify-
ing', and takes place particularly amongst black adolescents. Labov's (1972) work
has been influential in revealing the complexity of the insults used and the well-
organised nature of this speech event. Typically, these insults are sexual, directed at
a third person related to the target, and couched in rhyming couplets. For example:
Iron is iron, and steel don't rust,
But your momma got a pussy like a Greyhound Bus.
(Labov, 1972: 302)
The key to 'sounding' is that the insult is understood to be untrue, an interpretation
that comes about on the basis of shared knowledge within the group. The effect is to
reinforce in-group solidarity. There is a competitive element to 'sounding'; the win-
ner is the one who has the widest range of ritual insults to hand and can use them
most appropriately. Real time improvisation in the creation of ritual insults tends not
to occur. A result of the formulaic nature of the insults is that it is easier to recognise
that one is engaged in 'sounding' rather than personal insult. Labov also points out
that 'weak' insults, ones that are not outrageously bizarre and so obviously untrue,
are more dangerous in that they are., more likely to be interpreted as personal insults. 4
Ritualised banter has been studied most extensively in America, but occurs in
other cultures as well. Thompson (1935) found 'organised' swearing amongst the
aborigines of Northern Queensland, and Montagu (1973) observed that a similar
form of swearing is found amongst the Eskimos. Hughes (1991) points out that
'sounding' is similar to 'flyting'. This was a kind of competitive ritual insult that
was common in Old Norse. With the Scandinavian settlement of England it made its
way into English literature, but gradually died out. Vestiges of 'flyting' can be found
in Shakespeare's plays (e.g.
Romeo and Juliet
II.iv,
The Taming of the Shrew
II.i). In
all these cases ritualized banter seems to act as a societal safety-valve. It is a place
where we can be impolite with impunity, since "in ritual we are freed from personal
responsibility for the acts we are engaged in" (Labov, 1972: 352-353).
4. When are we impolite?
In order to begin to answer the question when are we genuinely impolite, it is use-
ful to consider the assumptions behind the presence of polite behaviour. Brown and
Levinson (1987) put it thus:
4 Labov illustrates this thus: "Among young adults, to say
I fucked your mother
is not to say some-
thing obviously untrue. But it is obviously untrue that 'I fucked your mother from tree to tree' / Your
father said, 'Now fuck me!' " (1972: 340).
354
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
"'In general, people cooperate (and assume each other's cooperation) in maintaining face in interaction,
such cooperation being based on the mutual vulnerability of face. That is, normally everyone's face
depends on everyone else's being maintained, and since people can be expected to defend their faces if
threatened, and in defending their own to threaten others" faces, it is in general in every participant's best
interest to maintain each others' face ..." (Brown and Levinson, 1987: 61)
There are circumstances when the vulnerability of face is unequal and so motiva-
tion to cooperate is reduced. A powerful participant has more freedom to be impo-
lite, because he or she can (a) reduce the ability of the less powerful participant
to retaliate with impoliteness (e.g. through the denial of speaking rights), and (b)
threaten more severe retaliation should the less powerful participant be impolite. The
fact that impoliteness is more likely to occur in situations where there is an imbal-
ance of power is reflected in its relatively frequent appearance in courtroom
discourse (Lakoff, 1989; Penman, 1990). As Penman points out, the witness has
"limited capacity to negotiate positive and negative face wants", whereas the barris-
ter has "almost unlimited capacity to threaten and aggravate the witness's face"
(1990: 34).
In some circumstances it is not in a participant's interests to maintain the other's
face. Participants may have a conflict of interests. For example, in zero-sum games,
such as legal cases or sports contests, only one participant can win and in doing so
causes the other participant to lose. Sometimes, it may be the case that a long-term
goal can be best achieved by a short-term impoliteness strategy. For example, one
might shame somebody into doing something that will be of long-term benefit to
him or her. It may also be that a participant has some particular interest in attacking
the other's face. For example, an assumption behind the American adversarial legal
system is that direct confrontation will elicit the truth (Lakoff, 1989). In particular,
Lakoff (1989) found systematic impoliteness in the case of defendants who have
been found guilty of first-degree murder in a Californian court. Here the jury, hav-
ing decided on the defendant's guilt, has the additional job of recommending the
death sentence or life imprisonment without parole. The prosecution needs to
demonstrate to the jury that the defendant is inhuman and loathsome. As a result, the
prosecution uses impoliteness in the hope that the defendant will be provoked and
lose control.
The factors influencing the occurrence of impoliteness in equal relationships are
complex. If lack of politeness correlates with intimacy, can we assume that genuine
impoliteness, as opposed to mock impoliteness, will be more likely to occur in an
extremely intimate relationship? There is some evidence for this. Birchler et al.
(1975) discovered that even in happy marriages spouses were typically more hostile
towards each other than strangers. In a familiar relationship one has more scope for
impoliteness: one may know which aspects of face are particularly sensitive to
attack, and one may be able to better predict and/or cope with retaliation that may
ensue. However, it seems absurd to argue that the more intimate one becomes with
someone the more impoliteness one employs.
Part of the problem is that intimacy is a vague notion that covers a number of
independent variables; it is not just familiarity. If one follows Brown and Gilman
(1960) and takes intimacy to mean that intimate participants have more in common,
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
355
then impoliteness may well be self-defeating. Close friends in this sense are more
likely to have close identity of face wants (Brown and Levinson, 1987: 64). Thus the
scope for impoliteness is reduced, since in normal circumstances one presumably
wishes to avoid self face damage. Sometimes intimacy is also taken to mean affect
(e.g. Baxter, 1984). It seems highly plausible that impoliteness correlates with nega-
tive affect. Slugoski and Turnbull's study (1988) provides evidence to the effect that
people expect less concern for face when the relationship is one of dislike.
It is worth noting that a particular characteristic of impoliteness behaviour in equal
relationships is its tendency to escalate. Equal relationships - by definition - lack a
default mechanism by which one participant achieves the upper hand. An insult can
easily lead to a counter-insult and so on. Moreover, Harris et al.'s study (1986) of
verbal aggression revealed that it :is commonly assumed that the best way to save
face in the light of verbal attack is to counter-attack. In fact, subjects assumed that
the only way to terminate verbal aggression between male friends was through out-
side intervention. Not surprisingly, verbal aggression sometimes escalates into phys-
ical violence. 5
Of course, these are not the only circumstances in which impoliteness may occur.
Infante and Wigley (1986), for example, conceptualise verbal aggression as a per-
sonality trait. In other words, some people are predisposed towards confrontation.
5. Impoliteness strategies
Following the pattern of the previous section, I shall start by examining politeness
strategies, specifically those of Brown and Levinson (1987), and then build a flame-
work for impoliteness in relation to these. This is more than a device of expository
convenience; impoliteness is very much the parasite of politeness.
Brown and Levinson (1987) argue that if one wishes to perform a potentially face-
threatening act, but wishes to maintain the face of those involved, one will undertake
politeness work appropriate to the face threat of the act. Following from this, a
speaker's first step will be to calculate the degree of face threat involved in the act
to be performed. This is done by considering the main dimensions affecting face
threat, namely relative power, social distance, and the rank or size of imposition of
the act involved. Values on these dimensions are summed to produce the 'weighti-
ness' of a particular face-threatening act (hereafter FTA). The less the imposition of
the act, the less powerful and distant the other participant is, the less polite one will
need to be. Brown and Levinson proposed five superstrategies for performing an
FTA. These are systematically related to the degree of face threat. Briefly outlined
below, the first superstrategy is associated with least face threat, and the last with the
highest:
5 Infante and Wigley note that "Although strangers sometimes are the parties to murders, more often
the victim was involved in an interpersonal relationship with the murderer and verbal aggression precip-
itated the violence" (1986: 62).
356
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
(1)
Bald on record -
the FTA is performed "in the most direct, clear, unambiguous
and concise way possible" (Brown and Levinson, 1987: 69).
(2)
Positive politeness -
the use of strategies designed to redress the addressee's
positive face wants.
(3)
Negative politeness -
the use of strategies designed to redress the addressee's
negative face wants.
(4)
Off-record-
the FTA is performed in such a way that "there is more than one
unambiguously attributable intention so that the actor cannot be held to have
committed himself to one particular intent" (Brown and Levinson, 1987: 69). In
other words, perform the FTA by means of an implicature (Grice, 1975).
(5)
Withhold the FTA.
Each of these politeness superstrategies has its opposite impoliteness super-
strategy. They are opposite in terms of orientation to face. Instead of enhancing or
supporting face, impoliteness superstrategies are a means of attacking face.
(1) Bald on record impoliteness -
the FTA is performed in a direct, clear, unam-
biguous and concise way in circumstances where face is not irrelevant or minimised.
It is important to distinguish this strategy from Brown and Levinson's Bald on
record. For Brown and Levinson, Bald on record is a
politeness
strategy in fairly
specific circumstances. For example, when face concerns are suspended in an emer-
gency, when the threat to the hearer's face is very small (e.g. "Come in" or "Do sit
down"), or when the speaker is much more powerful than the hearer (e.g. "Stop
complaining" said by a parent to a child). In all these cases little face is at stake, and,
more importantly, it is not the intention of the speaker to attack the face of the
hearer.
(2)
Positive impoliteness -
the use of strategies designed to damage the
addressee's positive face wants.
(3)
Negative impoliteness -
the use of strategies designed to damage the
addressee's negative face wants.
(4)
Sarcasm or mock politeness -
the FFA is performed with the use of polite-
ness strategies that are obviously insincere, and thus remain surface realisations. My
understanding of sarcasm is close to Leech's (1983) conception of irony. He states
the Irony Principle (IP) as follows:
"If you must cause offence, at least do so in a way which doesn't overtly conflict with the PP [Polite-
ness Principle], but allows the hearer to arrive at the offensive point of your remark indirectly, by way
of an implicature." (1983: 82)
This definition is not far removed from Brown and Levinson's notion of Off record
politeness. However, Leech (1983) later expands:
"Apparently, then, the IP is
dys-functional:
if the PP promotes a bias towards comity rather than conflict
in social relations, the IP, by enabling us to bypass politeness, promotes the 'antisocial' use of language.
We are ironic at someone's expense, scoring off others by politeness that is obviously insincere, as a
substitute for impoliteness." ( 1983: 142)
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
357
This is, of course, the opposite of the social harmony that is supposed to be pro-
moted through Brown and Levinson's Off record politeness. I prefer the use of the
term sarcasm to Leech's irony, since irony can be used for enjoyment and comedy. 6
Sarcasm (mock politeness for social disharmony) is clearly the opposite of banter
(mock impoliteness for social harmony).
(5)
Withhold politeness -
the absence of politeness work where it would be
expected. Brown and Levinson touch on the face-damaging implications of with-
holding politeness work:
"... politeness has to be communicated, and the absence of communicated politeness may,
ceteris
paribus,
be taken as the absence of a polite attitude." (1987: 5)
For example, failing to thank somebody for a present may be taken as deliberate
impoliteness.
Brown and Levinson's formula for assessing the weightiness of an VI'A still
applies for impoliteness. The greater the imposition of the act, the more powerful
and distant the other is, the more face-damaging the act is likely to be. But how
impoliteness superstrategies relate to the degree of face attack of an act and how they
promote to the overall impoliteness of an utterance is an area for future research to
investigate.
Much of Brown and Levinson's work is devoted to the linguistic realisations of
output strategies for positive and negative politeness. Each output strategy is a
means of satisfying the strategic ends of a superstrategy. Brown and Levinson pro-
vide open-ended lists of possible output strategies. Below I suggest a provisional list
of some output strategies for positive and negative impoliteness. It must be stressed
that this list is not exhaustive and that the strategies depend upon an appropriate con-
text to be impolite.
Positive impoliteness output strategies:
Ignore, snub the other -
fail to acknowledge the other's presence.
Exclude the other from an activity
Disassociate from the other -
for example, deny association or common ground with
the other; avoid sitting together.
Be disinterested, unconcerned, unsympathetic
Use inappropriate identity markers -
for example, use title and surname when a
close relationship pertains, or a nickname when a distant relationship pertains.
Use obscure or secretive language -
for example, mystify the other with jargon, or
use a code known to others in the group, but not the target.
Seek disagreement -
select a sensitive topic.
6 Leech (1983) does acknowledge that irony varies from comic irony to sarcasm, but in his definitions
and description he does not allow for non-offensive irony. Leech's own example of comic irony,
"'Some
of his words were not Sunday school words
(Mark Twain)" (1983: 143), is clearly non-offensive. For
'enjoyable' ironic acts see Roy (1981).
358
J. Culpeper /Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
Make the other feel uncomfortable -
for example, do not avoid silence, 7 joke, or use
small talk.
Use taboo words -
swear, or use abusive or profane language.
Call the other names -
use derogatory nominations.
etc.
Negative impoliteness output strategies:
Frighten -
instill a belief that action detrimental to the other will occur.
Condescend, scorn or ridicule -
emphasize your relative power. Be contemptuous.
Do not treat the other seriously. Belittle the other (e.g. use diminutives).
Invade the other's space -
literally (e.g. position yourself closer to the other than the
relationship permits) or metaphorically (e.g. ask for or speak about information
which is too intimate given the relationship).
Explicitly associate the other with a negative aspect -
personalize, use the pronouns
'I' and 'you'.
Put the other's indebtedness on record
etc'.
There are other important means by which impoliteness can be transmitted. The
structure of conversation itself is sensitive to violations. Brown and Levinson point
out that
"... turn-taking violations (interruptions, ignoring selection of other speakers, not responding to prior
turn) are all FTAs in themselves, as are opening and closing procedures." (1987: 233)
Moreover, we need to be aware of the fact that some areas of politeness are not well
represented in Brown and Levinson's politeness model; otherwise those deficiencies
could be carried over into an impoliteness framework. Their-model is primarily
geared to handling matters relating to linguistic form. A result of this, as they admit
(1987" 11), is that impolite implicatures can slip through thelr framework. In con-
trast, Leech's politeness model is primarily concerned with linguistic content, and
may be used to complement Brown and Levinson's model. Thus, reversing Leech's
Politeness Principle (1983:81), one general way of being impolite is to minimize the
expression of polite beliefs and maximize the expression of impolite beliefs. Fur-
thermore, Brown and Levinson have little to say about paralinguistic or non-verbal
politeness. Avoiding eye-contact or shouting, for example, could be a means of con-
veying impoliteness.
To demonstrate the power of the impoliteness framework outlined so far, I shall
examine examples from the discourse of army recruit training and the discourse of
drama.
7 See Leech's Phatic Maxim: a politeness maxim which states that one should "Avoid silence"
(1983: 141).
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
359
6.
Impoliteness in an army training camp
There are two basic reasons for the prevalence of impoliteness in army recruit
training discourse. Firstly, there is, great inequality of power. The American and
British armies, and indeed many other armies in the world, 8 have a rigid hierarchical
power structure, and recruits are at the bottom. This power structure is rigorously
maintained. The vast majority of a recruit's training is undertaken by Non-commis-
sioned officers (NCOs). These NCOs exert control over innumerable aspects of a
recruit's life including where they are, who they are with, what they do, what they
say, what they wear, and even what they think. Secondly, there is the particular train-
ing philosophy. The training program is designed to cast the recruit in the mould of
the ideal soldier. In essence, this means getting the recruit to conform to various
physical and pychological standards. They should be physically fit, able to perform
drills, fire a gun, endure hardship, and so on. Most importantly, they should obey
orders without question or hesitation. A general assumption is that the best way of
achieving these goals is to destroy the recruits' individuality and self-esteem, and
then rebuild it in the desired mouhi. In effect, impoliteness is used to depersonalize
the recruits. Politeness behaviour involves, amongst other things, a recognition that
the interlocutor is a person like oneself; impoliteness behaviour denies that recogni-
tion. In the context of the army, impoliteness is not the haphazard product of, say, a
heated argument, but is deployed by the sergeants in a systematic way as part of
what they perceive to be their job.
The source of my data is the documentary
Soldier Girls
(Broomfield and
Churchill, 1981). This was filmed .at an American recruit training base in 1980. As a
'fly on the wall' study, the documentary follows the fortunes of a group of women
recruits. My data is drawn from one particular, though not unrepresentative, inter-
view lasting approximately six and a half minutes. The participants are the recruit
Private Alves (PA) and three sergeants (S1, $2, $3), one of whom ($3) is a woman. 9
Alves has performed consistently badly in the training program and proved
intractable in the face of repeated attempts by the NCOs to force her to improve. As
punishment for her latest failure, she is consigned to digging a hole under the super-
vision of a squad leader. After digging a substantial hole, she refuses to continue and
ends up screaming hysterically whilst the squad leader tries physically to force her to
keep digging.
The interview takes place in an office shortly after this event. From the point of
view of the sergeants, she is not only guilty of failing to try hard enough in the train-
ing program, but also of the far more heinous crime of 'insubordination'.
8 The Israeli army is a notable exception. It has many more junior officers and thus a much flatter
power structure.
9 There do not appear to be any obvious differences in the way the male sergeants and the female
sergeant interact with Private Alves in this interview. However, this issue could benefit from specific
study across a wider range of data.
360
J. Culpeper /Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
6.1. Conversational structure
Alves is denied speaking rights. This is clear at the beginning of the interview: 10
SI: you're going to mess up one of my squad leaders
PA:
SI:
[indistinct]
any way you can how about it= =don't
PA: =I=
Sl: bullshit me now Alves you want to jump you want to
PA:
SI: jump on somebody= =JUMP ON ME then ....
PA: =no= who
Sl: shut up Alves you're the one who is
PA: said that sergeant
running your little mouth again you're the one
intimidating and threatening my squad leaders ....
SI:
PA:
Sl:
PA:
SI: bullshit tell that god damn lie to someone
PA: I didn't sergeant
SI: that believes your ass private you've already been
PA:
SI: proven to be a damn habitual liar
PA:
Alves is interrupted, told not to speak, or, when she denies that she "wants to jump
on somebody", has her response ignored. All of these are impoliteness acts. In addi-
tion, her ability to tell the truth is discredited. Cumulatively, the effect is to oppress
her negative face wants in that she is denied the opportunity to present a more
favourable version of events. Alves manages to say only five words in the rest of the
interview.
~0 This transcription is organised in 'staves', with a line for each participant, Only the speakers
Sergeant 1 (S1) and Private Alves (PA) are represented. The other participants, Sergeant 2 and Sergeant
3, say nothing in this part of the interview. Overlap is shown as simultaneous speech on both lines.
Pauses are shown as full stops (each full stop represents approximately half a second). An equals sign
shows one utterance immediately following on from another. Capital letters show loud speech.
J. Culpeper /Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367 361
6.2. Impolite beliefs
With Private Alves gagged and prevented from denial or retaliation, the way is
clear for the sergeants to launch an attack on Alves's face. The notion of face is not
confined to the immediate properties of the self, but can be invested in a wide range
of phenomena such as one's family, job, nationality. Liu (1986) conceptualised the
notion of face as consisting of concentric circles with the most face-laden closest to
the ego. For example, an insult directed at my partner would prove more offensive
than the same insult directed at an acquaintance or colleague. The sergeants compre-
hensively and systematically attack the components of Alves's positive face. This is
mostly achieved through the expression of impolite beliefs.
They attack her social roles: her role as an American citizen
S2: you don't even deserve to live in the United States
her role as a soldier
S2: disgrace to the uniform that's what you are Alves a disgrace to be wearing a
uniform that you're wearing private nothing but a disgrace to that uniform you
don't even deserve the time to wear it to have it on your little body
her potential role as a mother
S1: I doubt if you could accept the responsibility of a child
$3: the baby will cry itself to death before she ever was able to move across the
room to give her anything to eat
her role as a human being
SI: you haven't functioned as a human being I doubt since you were about thirteen
you stopped being a member of the human race
They attack her personal value:
Sl: you are despicable
Sl: you don't deserve to be out there in society
her competence
S2: can't do anything right
her self-sufficiency
S2: what's probably going to end up happening is probably you will find some man
that will have to end up supporting you for the rest of your life
362 J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
They attack her mental stability:
$3: I think she is nutso
$2: you're nuts you're nuttier than a fruit cake Alves
$2: you're crazy
They attack her psychological make-up:
$2: I think I need to get you evaluated
$2: let you run around there like a psycho
[small laugh] psycho private
$2: we're going to take you to see a psychiatrist
$3: you know Alves there's something about you that makes me think that you just
might be the type that would take a weapon and go up on the top of a building
and start just picking people off in the street just for the heck of it because
you're apathetic that sooner or later it's bound to turn to hate and it's got to get
out and when it gets out it it usually manifests itself in a violent manner
$3: and I would rather you were locked up on that thirteenth floor than out in civil-
ian society because you might possibly kill one of my relatives or a member of
my family
They even attack her genetic make-up: 11
SI: do me a favor don't have any children ........ because unfortunately there is such
a thing as heredi hereditary genes that I would hate to think that anybody would
even closely come out like you
6.3. Impoliteness strategies
A number of the impolite beliefs discussed in the previous section are straightfor-
wardly asserted. The impoliteness strategy in each of the following cases is bald on
record impoliteness:
SI: you've already proven to be a damn habitual liar
$2: disgrace to the uniform that's what you are Alves a disgrace to be wearing a
uniform that you're wearing private nothing but a disgrace to that uniform
SI: you haven't functioned as a human being I doubt since you were about thirteen
you stopped being a member of the human race
Sl: you are despicable
S2: can't do anything right
$2: you're nuts you're nuttier than a fruit cake Alves
$2: you're crazy
~ There may be a racist undercurrent here, since Private Alves is of Mexican origin.
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
363
Because of the significant power differential, a relatively direct and unambiguous
strategy can be chosen.
In addition, the sergeants employ positive impoliteness strategies. They use taboo
words: "bullshit" (twice), "ass" (twice), "damn", "goddamn" and "hell" (twice).
In an army context one might think that these words are only mildly taboo. However,
it should be noted that the situatJLon is relatively formal (she is in the sergeant's
office, not with her mates in the bar), and that the use of taboo words is unilateral.
The sergeants make her feel uncomfortable. For example, the interview is punctu-
ated by numerous silences, the longest of which lasts 12 seconds. They use the strat-
egy
Ignore, snub the other
in talking about her in the third person: "I think she's
nutso". They also use a range of negative impoliteness strategies. They belittle her
in using the diminutive "little": "little mouth", "little act", "little ass" and "little
body". They explicitly associate her with negative aspects, for example, "you're the
one who is running you're little mouth again you're the one intimidating and threat-
ening my squad leaders". $3 tries to frighten Alves by describing the effects of the
drugs they give disturbed patients:
$3: do you know what the thorazine does to you makes you walk like a mummy
sound like Frankenstein you just kind of shuffle around all stiff and numb
There are instances where the sergeants use sarcasm or mock politeness. On the
surface S 1 uses positive politeness in conveying the approval of other people: "you
really impress people with your little act girl". The word 'impress' usually conveys
a favourable judgement. Here it is clearly false. The sergeant implicates extreme dis-
approval. In another of S 1 's utterances, "do me a favor don't have any children", the
impoliteness of the belief expresse.d is exacerbated by the mock politeness. "Do me
a favor" is, ostensibly, a negative politeness strategy, whereby the speaker goes on
record as incurring a debt.
6.4. Paralinguistic and non-verbal aspects of impoliteness
A number of paralinguistic and non-verbal aspects contribute to the creation of a
threatening atmosphere. The sergeants' speech varies from shouting to an almost
inaudible growl. Both suggest hostility. Throughout the interview Alves is made
physically uncomfortable in that she is forced to stand to attention in front of the
office desk. In contrast the sergeants are very relaxed in posture: S 1 leans one foot
on a chair, $2 is seated and $3 sits on top of the desk. The negative impoliteness
strategy, 'Invade the other's space', is most clearly evident in the positioning of S 1
and $2. The dialogue between S1 and Alves at the beginning of the interview
(quoted above) takes place with S1 's mouth positioned approximately ten centime-
tres from Alves's ear, and later $2 gets up from his chair and positions himself sim-
ilarly. Not once during the interview does Alves make eye contact with the
sergeants. Interestingly, when Alves comments on the interview to a friend later in
the documentary, only the 'screanfing' of the sergeants and the fact that they get 'up
close' are mentioned as aspects that 'get to a person'.
364 J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
7. Impoliteness in drama dialogue: An example from
Macbeth
It is not surprising that the courtroom has been the basis for numerous films and
television dramas. Aggression has for thousands of years been a source of entertain-
ment. The courtroom provides a socially respectable and legitimate form of verbal
aggression. Moreover, I would argue that there are good reasons why drama in gen-
eral thrives on verbal conflict. Impolite behaviour, either as a result of social dishar-
mony or as the cause of it, does much to further the development of character and
plot. Hochman (1985), writing on literary characterisation, specifically associates
conflict with well-developed, complex characters - or, in E.M. Forster's (1987) ter-
minology, with 'round' characters. 'Flat' characters tend to be relatively static. They
are not buffeted by conflict and thus not put in a position where they have to change
in order to resolve a conflict.
As far as plot is concerned, impoliteness can be related to what people working in
narrative analysis have said about the development of plots in stories and novels
(e.g. Bremond, 1966, 1973). In a nutshell, it has been suggested that the prototypical
plot is constructed by means of a movement from a situation of equilibrium, through
a situation of disequilibrium, to the re-establishment of equilibrium. In 'Little Red
Riding Hood', for example, a situation of equilibrium is disrupted by the wolf, who
brings disequilibrium to the peaceful lives of Red Riding Hood and her family.
Action therefore needs to be taken to reestablish equilibrium, in this case by the
woodcutter. As is the case with most fairy stories, perfect equilibrium triumphs at
the end. Impoliteness may be seen as a symptom of a situation of disequilibrium.
A number of studies have demonstrated that politeness frameworks can be used to
account for aspects of dramatic dialogue and can shed light on literary critical issues,
notably characterisation (e.g. Simpson, 1989; Leech, 1992). However, no study has
systematically described the occurrence of impoliteness in drama or attempted to
explain its importance. In the rest of this section I shall show how my impoliteness
framework can be applied to drama by analysing a passage from Macbeth, where
impoliteness plays an important role in the development of character and plot. Of
course, the fact that this text was written in the seventeenth century raises a number
of issues about the applicability of modem linguistic theories. To fully address these
issues would require separate and lengthy argumentation. However, one might note
that Brown and Gilman (1989) have successfully applied Brown and Levinson's
(1987) model to discuss the operation of politeness phenomena in four of Shake-
speare's tragedies, including Macbeth.
In Macbeth one can see chains of equilibrium and disequilibrium. Disequilibrium
in the social structure of the state has been created by the murder of Duncan, the for-
mer king. The fundamental objective of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the banquet
scene is to reestablish equilibrium, to reinforce their social position by strengthening
relations with the Lords. A result of this is that, at the beginning of the scene, the
Macbeths go to extraordinary lengths in pursuing politeness strategies that support
the Lords' faces, far beyond the requirements of the host operating in a formal situ-
ation. Disequilibrium, however, is created by the arrival of the ghost. Macbeth loses
his nerve and starts blaming the Lords for the appearance of the ghost. Lady Mac-
J. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
365
beth pulls him to one side and, presumably out of earshot of the Lords, uses impo-
liteness to knock him back into line. The impoliteness is detrimental to Macbeth in
the short-term, but of benefit to their long-term goal of concealing Duncan's murder
and establishing their position in the state.
(1)
Lady Macbeth
Are you a man?
(2)
Macbeth
Ay, and a bold one that dare look on that
Which might appal the Devil.
(3)
Lady Macbeth
O proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear;
This is the air-drawn dagger which you said,
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts -
Impostors to true fear - would well become
A woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authoris'd by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When ali's done,
You look but ,an a stool.
(4)
Macbeth
Prithee, see there.
Behold! look! 1o! how say you?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.
If charnel-houses and our graves must send
Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.
[Ghost disappears.]
(5)
Lady Macbeth
What! quite unmann'd in folly?
(6)
Macbeth
If I stand here, I saw him.
(7)
Lady Macbeth
Fie ! for shame !
Macbeth III.iv.57-73 ~2
Lady Macbeth's strategy within this interaction is consistent across her four turns.
In each turn she uses impoliteness to attack Macbeth's face. She expresses impolite
beliefs in order to goad his masculine ego and thereby get him to pull himself
together. Lady Macbeth's question,
Are you a man?
(turn 1), flouts the Maxim of
Quality (Grice, 1975): it is obvious that Macbeth is a man. She implicates the impo-
lite belief that he is so lacking in those characteristics which she perceives as male
that his gender is called into question. She has a rather peculiar notion of gender:
earlier in the play, she equates being a man with performing the murder of Duncan.
To her being masculine means being cold and ruthless. Macbeth is apparently the
converse: emotional and suffering pangs of conscience. Further on (turn 3), she
attacks his masculine ego by suggesting that his fears are suitable for
A woman's
story at a winter's fire / Authoris'd by her grandam.
Also, in her following turn (turn
5), her question
quite unmann'd in folly ?
flouts the Maxim of Quality, implicating
the impolite belief that his foolishness casts doubts upon his masculinity.
L2 This extract is taken from the Peter Alexander text (1951).
366
,I. Culpeper / Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1996) 349-367
Her first exclamation (turn 3) employs the impoliteness superstrategy of sarcasm.
0 proper stuff?
flouts the Maxim of Quality; she implicates the opposite, that his
behaviour is preposterous. She employs positive impoliteness by pouring scorn on
him,
Shame itself(turn
3), and
Fie? For shame?
(turn 7), and by ridiculing his fears,
Impostors to true fear
(turn 3).
Lady Macbeth's impoliteness tactics appear to succeed. Macbeth regains stability
and returns to the banquet table. In terms of characterisation, one might note that
Lady Macbeth's impoliteness helps divorce Macbeth from the values that cause him
such guilt. One way of coming to terms with the murder he has carried out is to
adopt values that make it more acceptable. During the course of the play he shifts
from a man of conscience to a relatively desensitised murderer who organises the
gratuitous killing of Macduff's wife and son.
8. Conclusion
In this paper I have brought together some ideas and observations about an area of
discourse that has been much neglected. As Craig et al. (1986) argue, politeness the-
ory needs to consider confrontational strategies, if it is to preserve analytical coher-
ence. Furthermore, it is clear that in some circumstances impoliteness plays a key
role, not a marginal one. This paper goes some way towards providing a framework
that can capture this impoliteness. Many issues have been raised which could bene-
fit from further research. For example: What factors lead to the interpretation that
somebody is impolite? What factors influence the use of impoliteness in equal rela-
tionships? How do the impoliteness superstrategies relate to the degree of face attack
of an act?
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One of the challenges in dealing with hate speech is identifying efficient strategies to fight it. Among these strategies, Langton (2018) lists blocking, that is the public exposure of the falsehood, the fallacies and the presuppositions of the hate speech act. However, even if blocking is indeed useful, it is not always possible, and not only, as Langton explains, because addressees could not have the ability to promptly react. In fact, blocking a hate speech act could be impossible for at least three reasons: 1. non-propositional contents (i.e. metaphors) could make difficult to make the implicit explicit; 2. the strong emotions at stake could compromise the efficacy of blocking; 3. perpetrators of the hate speech act could not be aware of the underlying ideological assumptions of what they are saying. Using language to fight hatred is possible, then, but only in a broader scenario in which appropriate pragmatic competences are developed, in order to change an individual act of opposition into a rational and prolonged dialogue. 0. Introduzione Il presente saggio si propone di dare un contributo al dibattito sui discorsi d'odio (hate speech), un'etichetta che racchiude «quelle espressioni e quelle frasi che comunicano derisione, disprezzo e ostilità verso gruppi sociali, e verso individui in virtù della loro mera appartenenza a un certo gruppo» (Bianchi 2021: 5). Secondo una nota pubblicata da De Mauro per Internazionale, tale etichetta racchiude oggetti abbastanza variegati; in particolare, è possibile distinguere tre macro-categorie di discorsi d'odio: 1. insulti volgari (swear words), 2. slurs e 3. «parole che non sono in sé né volgari insulti né sono parole riconducibili a stereotipi etnici e sociali» (De Mauro 2016). Quest'ultima categoria è quella più difficile da isolare, in quanto include parole ed espressioni che diventano discorsi d'odio solo all'interno del contesto in cui sono proferiti, come certi usi di "Signora" in Brecht o di "Mister" in Dickens (Ibidem). Il fenomeno dello hate speech è stato amplificato dai social media, che si sono ormai trasformati in campi di battaglia in cui non solo i cosiddetti haters o "leoni da tastiera", ma anche gli utenti apparentemente "tranquilli" riversano parole di disprezzo e offesa
... Αφορμώμενος από τον Καντ, ο οποίος διακρίνει ανάμεσα στον φαινομενικό υποκειμενικό κόσμο της εμπειρίας και τον αντικειμενικό καθεαυτό κόσμο των a priori κατηγοριών (1993), ο Μπαχτίν προχωρά στη θεμελιώδη διάκριση ανάμεσα στο διαμορφούμενο (posited) και το δοσμένο (given), δηλαδή την ανοιχτή διαδικασία του «γίγνεσθαι» ενός υποκειμένου από τη μία, σε αντιπαραβολή με τη συστηματοποιημένη σε φόρμες δοσμένη κουλτούρα από την άλλη, η οποία ασκεί πίεση στο υποκείμενο και απειλεί την ελευθερία του (Beasley -Murray, 2007: 58 -59 τρόπου (ανάμεσα στον προφορικό και τον γραπτό λόγο), επιπέδου ύφους (ανάμεσα στο τεχνικό και το μη τεχνικό λεξιλόγιο) και κώδικα (ανάμεσα σε διαφορετικές γλώσσες) στο πλαίσιο της ίδιας γλωσσικής αλληλεπίδρασης (Baynham, 2002: 194-195 (Saussure, 1916). (Halliday, 1994, Halliday & Matthiessen, 2013, η Κριτική Ανάλυση Λόγου (Fairclough, 2013), η Πραγματολογία (Searle, 1969, Brown & Levinson, 1987, Culpeper, 1996, η Γνωσιακή Γλωσσολογία (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980), η Κοινωνιογλωσσολογία (Αρχάκης και Τσάκωνα, 2011) και η Φιλοσοφία της Γλώσσας (Bakhtin, 1981). Η γλώσσα αντιμετωπίζεται ως σημειογενές σύστημα επιλογών, με τις επιλογές που γίνονται να συνεισφέρουν στην κατασκευή και διαπραγμάτευση συγκεκριμένων νοημάτων, έναντι άλλων. ...
Thesis
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The thesis entitled Literacy and Disinformation investigates the construction and negotiation of meaning in news articles concerning the harmful effects of the vaccines against Covid - 19 that can be regarded as disinformative. These articles are examined in conjunction with texts that check the facts mentioned, as well as reader comments on them. After an overview of the research literature on media discourse, the thesis focuses on the concepts of disinformation, fake news and myths, prevailing in today's post-truth society. The communicative interactions that take place are analyzed as literacy events, that is as activities that contain and revolve around written texts. A methodological tool, which draws inspiration from various linguistic theories and disciplines, such as Systemic Functional Grammar, Critical Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics and Cognitive Linguistics, is constructed and proposed for the analysis (Intzidis, 2019, Intzidis & Rigas, 2022). In the main body of the work, aspects of the tool are applied firstly to the text that is regarded as disinformative, then to the text that conducts the fact - checking and finally to the social media comments of the audience that follow the aforementioned texts. The primary goal of the thesis is the detailed description of the processes through which language and other semiotic resources (images, video, music) represent reality, when they are used by writers who design their meanings in the multimodal continuum of oral-written discourse. Its ultimate goal is to make the readers of news texts (written and / or oral) more aware of these processes and to enable their identification in the various (disinformative or not) news texts to which they are exposed on a daily basis. Keywords: Disinformation, Multiliteracies, Literacy Events, Systemic Functional Grammar, Critical Discourse Analysis, Covid - 19. Στην εργασία με τίτλο Γραμματισμός και Παραπληροφόρηση διερευνάται η κατασκευή και διαπραγμάτευση νοημάτων σε ειδησεογραφικά κείμενα με θέμα τον εμβολιασμό κατά της Covid - 19 που ελέγχονται ως παραπληροφορητικά. Παράλληλα, εξετάζονται οι διαδικασίες σχεδιασμού νοημάτων στα κείμενα που τους ασκούν τον έλεγχο και στα σχόλια του κοινού γύρω από αυτά. Έπειτα από μία επισκόπηση της έρευνας με θέμα το δημοσιογραφικό λόγο (ή λόγο των Μέσων), η εργασία επικεντρώνεται στις έννοιες της σκόπιμης παραπληροφόρησης (disinformation), των ψευδών ειδήσεων (fake news) και των μυθευμάτων (myths) που κυριαρχούν στο πλαίσιο των σημερινών μετανεωτερικών, μετα-αληθειακών (post-truth) κοινωνιών. Οι επικοινωνιακές αλληλεπιδράσεις που συντελούνται, αναλύονται ως συμβάντα γραμματισμού, ως δραστηριότητες δηλαδή που περιστρέφονται με αφορμή και γύρω από γραπτά κείμενα. Για την πραγματοποίηση της ανάλυσης καταρτίζεται ένα μεθοδολογικό εργαλείο (Ιντζίδης, 2019, Ιντζίδης & Ρήγας, 2022), το οποίο αντλεί στοιχεία από ποικίλες γλωσσολογικές θεωρίες και κλάδους, όπως η Συστημική Λειτουργική Γραμματική, η Κριτική Ανάλυση Λόγου, η Πραγματολογία και η Γνωσιακή Γλωσσολογία. Στο κύριο μέρος της εργασίας, όψεις του εργαλείου εφαρμόζονται αρχικά στο πρωτότυπο κείμενο που ελέγχεται ως παραπληροφορητικό, έπειτα στο κείμενο που του ασκεί τον έλεγχο και τέλος στα σχόλια του κοινού που έπονται των δύο προαναφερθέντων κειμένων. Ο πρώτιστος στόχος της εργασίας είναι η αναλυτική περιγραφή των διαδικασιών αναπαράστασης της πραγματικότητας μέσω της γλώσσας και των άλλων σημειωτικών πόρων (εικόνες, βίντεο, μουσική) που αξιοποιούν οι άνθρωποι, όταν σχεδιάζουν τα νοήματά τους στο πολυτροπικό συνεχές προφορικού - γραπτού λόγου. Ο απώτερος στόχος της είναι να καταστήσει τους αναγνώστες ειδησεογραφικών κειμένων (γραπτών ή/και προφορικών) συνειδητούς γνώστες αυτών των διαδικασιών και να τους επιτρέψει να τις αναγνωρίζουν και οι ίδιοι στα ποικίλα ειδησεογραφικά (ενίοτε παραπληροφορητικά) κείμενα, στα οποία εκτίθενται καθημερινά. Λέξεις Κλειδιά: Παραπληροφόρηση, Πολυγραμματισμοί, Συμβάντα Γραμματισμού, Συστημική Λειτουργική Γραμματική, Κριτική Ανάλυση Λόγου, Covid - 19.
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