(Im)politeness and relationality



Publication Details

Ohashi, J. & Chang, W. Melody. (2017). (Im)politeness and relationality. In J. Culpeper, M. Haugh & D. Z. Kádár (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im)politeness (pp. 257-285). Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan UK.


The chapter illuminates some of the under-explored relational aspects of (Im)politeness in interpersonal pragmatics. It consists of two case studies explicating how conversational participants manifest and interpret relationships in interaction. Specifically, case study 1 illustrates how reciprocity (balancing obligations) as a social norm can be used in interpreting relationality in terms of (Im)politeness. Case study 2 demonstrates how relationality is manifested in mediation interactions, where the participants evoke their interrelated relational ties and relational entitlements in order to achieve their interactional goals. The two case studies in both Japanese and Chinese, in particular, highlight the significance of studying emic concepts of relationality and related concepts, including the 'balance sheet of obligation' in Japanese contexts, and 'relational ties' and 'relational entitlements' in Taiwanese interactions.

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