Consolidating Grice, Brown & Levinson, and

Consolidating Grice,
Brown & Levinson, and
Maxims, Face, and Politeness Theory
Recapping Grice
O Grice’s Maxims:
Quality – be true
Quantity – say enough
Manner – be clear
Relevance – be relevant
O Not following: Violating – being deliberately misleading
Opting-out – refusing to co-operate
Flouting – creating an effect.
Recapping Goffman
O Face theory – we choose a different ‘face’ to
present to our partner in
conversation depending on the
context of the conversation.
O The listener is responsible for maintaining the ‘face’
of their conversational partner.
Recapping Brown & Levinson
O Having regard for someone’s ‘face’ is polite.
O Face Threatening Acts damage the face someone puts on it
O We, as conversers, have positive and negative face.
Positive face – the desire to feel approved of.
Negative face – the desire to feel unimpeded.
O We use positive politeness to maintain positive face and
negative politeness to maintain negative face.
O Positive Politeness is being complimentary, Negative
Politeness is being apologetic.
“ I want to listen to my friend’s new CD but can’t get a copy of my
This is imposing
and potentially
face threatening!
Be indirect
“It’s a shame I won’t
be able to listen to
Be direct
“Give me that CD.”
Face saving
Positive Politeness
“I really appreciate all the
music you’ve lent me…”
Negative Politeness
“I’m really sorry to
ask you again…”
Task – 10mins
O Working individually come up with your own
diagram of politeness options and label.
O You can choose your own situation to work
More than one maxim?
O You can argue that in conversation more
than one maxim may be being broken at any
one time.
O As long as you can argue reasonably for
which maxim you think is being broken, you
will get marks.
O It is not black and white and there is rarely
only one thing going on.
Gordon Strachan (Maxim
Reporter: “Gordon, can we have a quick word please?”
Strachan: “Velocity” [walks off]
Relevance / Quantity = The word velocity is not relevant
to what the reporter asked. The reporter obviously
wanted to talk about football.
Quantity = he did not say as much as the reporter would
have expected.
It is flouting because Gordon was trying to be sarcastic.
Context: Gordon does not have time for the reporters or
want to talk to them.
Gordon Strachan (Maxim
Reporter: “Welcome to Southampton Football Club.
Do you think you are the right man to turn things
Strachan: “No. I was asked if I thought I was the
right man for the job and I said, ‘No, I think they
should have got George Graham because I’m
Quality = this is not true. He obviously believes that
he is the man for the job.
Context = he obviously thinks this is a stupid
question with an obvious answer.
Gordon Strachan (Maxim
Reporter: “Gordon, Agustin Delgado?”
Strachan: “I’ve got more important things to think
about. I’ve got this yoghurt to finish by today, the expiry
date is today. That can be my priority rather than
Agustin Delgado.”
Quality = this is arguably not true, it may be very
important to him.
Relevance = the yoghurt is nothing to do with football.
Context = again he thinks the question is either obvious
/ unimportant and does not want to answer.
Task – 5mins
O Look at the remaining five conversations
between reporters and Gordon Strachan.
O Identify which maxim(s) are being flouted
and consider what this tells us about the
The changing rooms – Grice’s
KK: them (.) they’re wet and dirty
IW: like your mam
What can we infer
about the context
and the relationship
between the
Because we assume conversation is co-operative IW assumed
that KK is saying something relevant about his mum – this allows
us to appreciate the joke.
Manner = “your mum’s a slag” would have been a clearer way to
say what IW wanted to say.
We can also infer from the informal language that the people
talking are friends.
Lastly, we can tell that this is not a polite conversation where Face
Needs are being considered. The context is the reason for this.
Transcript 5 – Maxims and
C [] did you get lost then
G [] hallo
T [] [laughs]
G[] no we didn’t what we did however encounter was an accident on the road
C [] not to you
G [] there were thousands of cars sort of piled up sort of miles back on the road
that goes from Watford to
G follows all the maxims by supplying a relevant, clear and detailed
explanation to C’s enquiry.
G doesn’t explicitly apologise for being late but the explanation implies
apology, which is a negative politeness strategy.
T laughing is a positive politeness strategy as he is showing C that he
appreciates them.
What else can you extract from this
Interview with Louise –
Maxims and Politeness
O At the beginning of the transcript Louise is
following all the maxims by supplying
relevant, detailed and true information.
O Louse is using positive politeness strategies
by laughing.
O The language is informal (Yeah instead of
Yes) so we can infer that the relationship
between the participants is not too distant.
Task – 10mins
O Choose on of the extracts we have covered
in this lesson.
O Write up a paragraph of analysis.
O What can you say about:
-the relationship between the participants

similar documents