Sociopragmatica Y Retorica Interpersonal
La Cortesia Ingles Y Castellano. Studies in Linguistics & Semiotics S. No. 20
Comparatist research on Peninsular Spanish and British English politeness has largely been approached from the viewpoint of pragmatics. In this book, J. A. G. Ardila discusses the linguistic. paralinguistic and semiologic features of politeness in Spain and Britain, and futher presents the social and historical reasons that help to explain Spain's positive politeness. The three first chapters examine the chief linguistic theories on politeness. In addition to discussing politeness according to three different levels of performance, these chapters argue for an analytical understanding of politeness as the result from Leech's principles of interpersonal rhetoric, the situational contextualisation as it is viewed by Lakoff, and the pragmatic phenomena pointed out by Fraser. The author also vindicates the so-called theory of the concentric circles. which encourages the analysis of paralinguistics and semiology by which politeness is embedded in all communicative acts. His discussion of deixis in politeness allows for an analysis of the terms of address, the usage of third-person pronouns, phatic communion and turn-taking in Spanish and English.
Paralinguistic and semiologic uses are also portrayed as being key elements in polite communication as the differences exposed here prove. The general study of linguistics, paralinguistics and semiology in politeness agrees with the thesis that attaches positive politeness to Peninsular Spanish. However. rather than complying with this conclusion, in this book Ardila scrutinises the essence of Peninsular politeness. In proving that face corresponds with the Spanish concept honra, the author illustrates the nature of Spanish politeness with a number of literary texts, in particular Lazarillo de Tormes, as well as with texts by Ortega y Gasset, Unamuno and Larra, and other modem writers, such as Umbral, Javier Marias and Juan Manuel de Prada. Building on William of Ockham's theories, Ardila focuses on the foil individualisation and individualism in order to draw a definition of Spanish and British politeness models that goes beyond those hitherto proposed.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"The study of politeness within the framework of interculturality and transculturality has attracted many academics. But current research comparing the characteristic of politeness in European Spanish and British English seem to have some shortcomings. On the one hand, researchers usually concentrate on specific aspects of politeness, such as business transactions. On the other, Spanish authors seem to take for granted that the theories of the "founding parents" of politeness studies, such as Leech, Brown and Levinson, should not be subject to critical appraisal. Ardila's text tries to overcome both setbacks. The author offers a comprehensive outlook of the topic. He walks along the paths of interdisciplinary fields and he manages to do it gracefully, which is no minor achievement. And while he pays tribute to Brown and Levinson, following most of their categories, he is not afraid to question some of their assumptions as being perhaps tainted by ethnocentrism and not applicable to the case of Spanish. Ardila stresses, for example. the importance of positive face as opposed to negative face. The text also includes references to authors from different geographical backgrounds who have studied the interaction between English and other languages. The author shows an amazing power of observation in the choice of examples to illustrate his point of view: he compares attitudes of pedestrians at zebra crossings, body language in church services, the colour of executives' clothing, the language of letters to newspapers editors, conversations between teaching staff and students, or participation in talk shows. The text also offers a revealing picture about some aspects of the social structure of British and Spanish societies which help to understand the different uses of politeness in Spain and Britain. The author does not fall into the temptation of establishing valorative judgments about which of the two languages is more polite. He simply points out the different ways of interaction in Spanish and English, and his findings may be of help also to teachers of English and Spanish. but also to the increasing number of non-native professionals who have to work in Britain or Spain." - Dr. Jeroni Sureda,, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain "In an impressively knowledgeable effort, the author introduces his readers into the vast literature on politeness, published mainly in the English-speaking world during the last 30 years. From a thoughtful viewpoint, allowing for the classic theories as well as the fresher ones, Professor Ardila carries out an evaluation of politeness studies - which he achieves successfully, clarifying and simplifying the current theories of pragmatics, and providing a helpful framework to students and scholars alike. Professor Ardila explains the differences between Spanish and British politeness in a wise discussion on the concept of face in Spanish history. His study is suggestive and shrewd, and he presents his points in an amusing, informative and stimulating way." - Dr Thora Vinther, University of Copenhagen"