Author: Yim, Tsz Yan Michelle
Title: A comparative study on how international tennis players respond to their defeats during press conferences using the politeness theory
Advisors: Xu, Xunfeng (ENGL)
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2016
Subject: Politeness (Linguistics)
English language -- Spoken English
English language -- Social aspects -- Foreign countries.
English language -- Social aspects -- English-speaking countries.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of English
Pages: v, v, 150 pages
Language: English
Abstract: This study aims to investigate the similarities and differences in the use of politeness and impoliteness strategies adopted by native and non-native English speaking international tennis players in the post-match press conferences. The players selected in this study are Andy Murray (British), Li Na (Chinese), Roger Federer (Swiss), and Serena Williams (American). They are grouped into two distinct categories - native and non-native speakers of English, the purpose of which is to compare the differences, if any, between the two groups. This study applies both the qualitative and quantitative approach in the analysis. The qualitative analysis is based on Brown and Levinson's politeness and Culpeper's impoliteness framework, to identify the strategies employed by the tennis players. In addition, the linguistic features of the strategies are also studied. The quantitative analysis counts the frequencies and percentages of occurrences of the strategies and linguistic features identified. The findings reveal that the two groups of tennis players used both positive and negative politeness strategies in their press conferences and quite surprisingly, both groups of players adopted not only the same kind of positive and negative politeness strategies, but also have a strong preference to use the negative politeness strategy, namely 'hedge' (NPS 2). However, it is found that only the native English speaking tennis players used an impoliteness strategy - mock or sarcasm, while only the non-native English speaking tennis players used rhetorical questions. The differences in the strategies used between the two groups of players may be attributed to their cultural differences and/or their personalities. With regards to the linguistic realizations of the politeness strategies, both groups of players used cajolers to assert and hedges to soften their responses. The native English speaking players clearly used cajolers more frequently (or comfortably) than the non-native English speakers. It can be concluded that Brown and Levinson's framework of politeness can be applied to the context of tennis post-match press conferences for both native and non-native English speaking players.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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