Quotation Culpeper, Jonathan, Gillings, Mathew. 2018. Politeness variation in England: A north-south divide? In: Corpus Approaches to Contemporary British Speech: Sociolinguistic Studies of the Spoken BNC2014, Hrsg. Vaclav Brezina, Robbie Love, and Karin Aijmer, 33-59. London: Routledge.


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Abstract

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.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Chapter in edited volume
Language English
Title Politeness variation in England: A north-south divide?
Title of whole publication Corpus Approaches to Contemporary British Speech: Sociolinguistic Studies of the Spoken BNC2014
Editor Vaclav Brezina, Robbie Love, and Karin Aijmer
Page from 33
Page to 59
Location London
Publisher Routledge
Year 2018
Reviewed? Y
ISBN 9781138287273
Open Access N

Associations

People
Gillings, Mathew (Details)
External
Culpeper, Jonathan (Lancaster University, United Kingdom)
Organization
Institute for English Business Communication (Mautner) (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
6604 Applied linguistics (Details)
6611 Linguistics (Details)
6623 Sociolinguistics (Details)
6633 Computational linguistics (Details)
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