Intentionality, communicative intentions and the implication of politeness

Ruhi, Suekriye
Working within the relevance-theoretic paradigm (Sperber & Wilson 1995 [1986]), complemented with the cognitive linguistic approach (Johnson 1987; Lakoff & Johnson 1980), the paper proposes that politeness is an optional metarepresentation of an "interpersonal attitude" (Haugh 2007: 91) that concerns the domain of intentionality. The paper first addresses the issue of "noticed" vs. "unnoticed" politeness with respect to utterance processing and argues that "unnoticed" (conventional) politeness can exist in interaction on the level of "background consciousness" (O'Driscoll 1996: 1) and that processing of non-conventional utterances need not go through full-fledged inferential processing to achieve polite interpretations. Politeness is described as an implication that may result via the integration of the metarepresentation of (communicative) intentions and evaluative meta-representations of the interlocutors' social acts.


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In this study we are concerned with the informal dimension of formative assessment (FA) in an L2 classroom. We examine those instances that are embedded into everyday learning activities and that emerge in and through classroom interaction contingently, continuously and flexibly. Drawing on the methodological underpinnings of Conversation Analysis (CA), we uncover the emergence of instances of reference to a past learning event (RPLE) in L2 classroom interaction and highlights its relevance to informal FA. ...
Citation Formats
S. Ruhi, “Intentionality, communicative intentions and the implication of politeness,” INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS, pp. 287–314, 2008, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: