Explicit evaluative comments on Turkish impoliteness Building a model of impoliteness2 on impoliteness1

2009-07-02
Many past politeness theories have been devised “at the expense of ignoring the lay person’s conception of politeness as revealed through their uses of the terms polite and impolite” (Culpeper, 2008, p.19). With the intention of using (im)politeness1 (lay) conceptualisations to inform the (scientific) theorizing of (im)politeness2, this study investigates the conceptualisation of ‘impoliteness’ (Tr. Kaba) for Turkish native speakers (hereafter, TNS). The data for the study comes from a number of sources: a compiled corpus of impoliteness narratives from “sharing” websites (i.e. confession websites, blogs, forums, etc.) amounting to 235 tokens, in-depth interviews with TNS on their laymen conceptualisation of impolite acts, and a further 1306 metapragmatic evaluations of impoliteness produced by TNS collected via an open-ended questionnaire through which they reported events they had experienced in the past they would label using one of the impoliteness “explicit metapragmatic comment” lexemes (Locher and Watts, 2008, p.84) in the Turkish language (i.e. kaba, terbiyesiz, nezaketsiz, saygısız, görgüsüz, küstah, patavatsız, küstah). The research design and data analysis was mostly qualitative-emergent although Spencer-Oatey’s (2000, 2005) Rapport Mangement model was later used to interpret the major findings. The analysis was carried out by calculating the primary strongest bases of evaluation for each (im)politeness episode reported by TNS. The data revealed that Turkish impoliteness evaluations were based on eight components/bases of impoliteness: (1) FACE-ATTACK: (a) Quality face and (b) Social identity face attack Impoliteness, (2) RIGHTS OFFENSE: (a) Equity rights (b) (Dis)association rights threatening impoliteness (Spencer-Oatey, 2000, 2002, 2005), (3) EXPRESSIVE IMPOLITENESS (i.e. evaluations solely regarding inappropriateness in language choices made, use of bad language, and violations of turntaking, etc.), (4) INATTENTIVENESS (a) Inattentiveness to other’s emotion(s), (b) Inattentiveness to other’s need and/or attentiveness to self-Need(s), and (c) Inattentiveness to other/Attentiveness to self-goal(s), (5) DISREGARD for CUSTOM (i.e. social conventions and traditions), (6) AGGRESSIVE and OFFENSIVE SELF-PRESENTATION (Schütz, 1998) (i.e. trying to project a –too– good/favourable image or trying to look good by making others look bad/less favourable), (7) SELF-EMOTION MISMANAGEMENT (i.e. not being able to hold back feelings like anger, impatience, and contempt in communication and not being able to overlook other people’s wrong doings), (8) PHYSICAL IMPOLITENESS (i.e. practicing physical violence (e.g. from light beating to full battery) and/or mental bullying (i.e. threats to inflict physical pain). However, many (im)polite acts, in fact, could be regarded as borderline cases of one or more of these elements (i.e. bases for (im)politeness evaluations). Especially for some (im)politeness narratives, they may be functioning as an inseparable mixture. Based on the data, a framework to capture the interrelatedness of the bases of evaluations of impoliteness is suggested. Evaluations made for each self-reported episode of (im)politeness, at the surface level or the deep level, was expectedly under the influence of episode internal and external details such as age, gender, status, power and distance differentials, but for Turkish –more importantly– the less discussed aspects of politeness such as ‘historicity' (Ruhi, 2008), ‘motivation’ and/or ‘intention’ (Bousfield, 2008) (i.e. what the interlocutors think is embedded in the act as a transactional or interactional goal for the self and other), the influences of ‘public versus private domain’, the notion of perceived ‘sincerity’ (Xie, He, and Lin, 2005) and ‘reciprocity’ were found to be at the heart of the impoliteness1 evaluation.
Citation Formats
H. Işık Güler, “Explicit evaluative comments on Turkish impoliteness Building a model of impoliteness2 on impoliteness1,” Lancaster, İngiltere, 2009, p. 36, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/events/liar/docs/paper_abstracts.pdf.