By Eva Ogiermann

This publication investigates how audio system of English, Polish and Russian care for offensive events. It unearths culture-specific perceptions of what counts as an apology and what constitutes politeness. It deals a serious dialogue of Brown and Levinson's thought and offers counterevidence to the correlation among indirectness and politeness underlying their thought. Their idea is utilized to 2 languages that depend much less seriously on indirectness in conveying politeness than does English, and to a speech act that doesn't develop into extra well mannered via indirectness. An research of the face issues excited about apologising exhibits that during distinction to disarming apologies, remedial apologies are more often than not directed in the direction of optimistic face wishes, that are the most important for the recovery of social equilibrium and upkeep of relationships. the knowledge express that whereas English apologies are characterized by way of a comparatively robust concentrate on either interlocutors detrimental face, Polish apologies reveal a selected quandary for optimistic face. For Russian audio system, by contrast, apologies appear to contain a reduce measure of face probability than they do within the different languages.

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Extra resources for On Apologising in Negative and Positive Politeness Cultures

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Although this layer has always been perceived as alien to these two Slavic cultures, its impact on the mentality of Polish and Russian people cannot be denied. Western culture and life style, in contrast, which exerted relatively little influence on the countries behind the Iron Curtain until the end of the 80s, were quickly accepted and greatly appreciated once they found their way into Poland and Russia; though the initial enthusiasm has meanwhile given way to more critical attitudes. Although it is mainly the popular layer that has been shaped by Anglo-Saxon culture, the data collected for the present study may yield some information as to how far it has also affected the deeper levels of Polish and Russian cultures.

G. Blum-Kulka 1987: 131). Another problem concerning the above definition is that all variables receive either high or low values in a given culture, which goes hand in hand with Brown and Levinson’s assumption that the variables making up the weightiness formula work on a summative basis. g. Rathmayr 1996, Lubecka 2000). However, the preference for positive politeness, which has been defined as an “extension of intimacy, to imply common ground or sharing of wants” (Brown & Levinson: 1987: 103) is clearly related to the assessment of social distance, which is generally low in collectivist cultures.

These broad features of language usage and the way they differ across cultures are the object of study in cross-cultural pragmatics. Regrettably, most cross-cultural studies do not go beyond describing the differences in performing a particular speech act in the contrasted languages, and few attempt to interpret the data in terms of cultural values. The insights into the respective cultures gained from cross-cultural pragmatic research are, therefore, largely restricted to the studied speech acts.

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