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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the major experimental approaches to politeness and considers the theoretical implications of these approaches for the domains of semantics and pragmatics. After a brief overview of the major theoretical orientations to politeness, a detailed review of empirical research on Brown & Levinson’s (B&L) politeness theory, as well as the issues raised by this research, is provided. Major critiques of the B&L model, and alternative situated and interactional models, are then noted. The implications of politeness for more recent research examining the role of politeness in reasoning and the communication of uncertainty is considered, followed by a review of the cognitive and neural processes involved in the processing of politeness.

Keywords: politeness, reasoning, face-work, scalar terms, communicating uncertainty, indirectness

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