Politeness variation in England: A north-south divide?

Jonathan Culpeper, Mathew Gillings

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/KonferenzbandBeitrag in Sammelwerk


Academia treats linguistic politeness in Britain as a monolithic block characterized by indirectness (e.g. using expressions like "could you ...", "would you mind ..", I wonder if ...", and so on rather than just "give me a coffee"). However, this seems to clash with the popular conception that northerners have very different politeness practices from southerners, practices which, broadly, are characterized by friendliness and solidarity. We explored these issues by selecting 14 key British politeness expressions, each belonging to one of three different types of politeness (tentativeness, deference or solidarity), and then examining their frequencies in corpora (large electronic collections of language data). Results from the combined north and south components of the new BNC2014 and the original BNC, did in fact support the idea that tentativeness politeness (which includes indirectness) is a general characteristic in England, but they did not support the idea that solidarity politeness might be more characteristic of the north compared to the south. However, a pattern that did seem to reflect a north-south divide concerns (in)formality.
Titel des SammelwerksCorpus Approaches to Contemporary British Speech: Sociolinguistic Studies of the Spoken BNC2014
Herausgeber*innen Vaclav Brezina, Robbie Love, and Karin Aijmer
Seiten33 - 59
ISBN (Print)9781138287273
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2018

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 602004 Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
  • 602048 Soziolinguistik
  • 602011 Computerlinguistik

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