Redress strategies in institutional replies

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Redress strategies in institutional replies

 

Author: Tan, Hui Min Francine
Title: Redress strategies in institutional replies
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2014
Subject: Sociolinguistics.
Politeness (Linguistics)
English language -- Honorific.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: 165 pages : illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2775927
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7709
Abstract: This research study examines the redressive action with the form of language use for conveying unfavourable replies. The research draws on the replies to members of the public who received parking tickets and then appealed to a government agency for the waiver or reduction of their fines. The bureaucratic interaction between the agency and public in relation to power, distance and imposition displayed interesting politeness and impoliteness strategies used to soften the face threatening act of rejecting the appeal, and requesting payment, or accepting the appeal and withdrawing the fine. The analysis is a top-down approach, examining the structure and moves of the letters used in context, use of the politeness strategies proposed by Brown and Levinson (1987) and Culpeper's (1996 & 2011) framework of impoliteness strategies was also used. It is important to note that impoliteness strategies do not mean that the context is offensive. While it may threaten the addressee's face, it is sometimes required for conveying message more effectively. Similarly, the use of politeness strategies is not the same as the use of mannerisms and kindness. The pragmatic analysis of replies demonstrates the difficulties of absolute politeness. Like any private company, the image of a government organization requires facework for the public and itself. It demands high expectations to be impartial and civic-minded, leading to controversial discussions of power and imposition.

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