Linguistic Politeness Across Boundaries: The Case of Greek by Arin Bayraktaroğlu (ed.), Maria Sifianou (ed.)

By Arin Bayraktaroğlu (ed.), Maria Sifianou (ed.)

This quantity contains 14 papers investigating politeness phenomena in Greece and Turkey, the cultural cross-roads of Europe, Asia and the center East. It displays present study and gives observations of and findings in styles of linguistic politeness in a geographical sector except the a lot studied English conversing ones. The publication appeals to execs and scholars drawn to a broader point of view of language use in its social context.

Articles within the assortment are empirically instead of theoretically orientated and consider realisations of politeness on the subject of social parameters. The chapters were prepared in pairs (Greek/Turkish), treating the subsequent comparable matters: to start with a extra common ethnographic photo of the 2 societies, the variables of power/status in school room and different interplay, harmony in advice-giving and using approbatory expressions, carrier encounters and the differential use of language by means of ladies and men, using interruptions in tv speak, and eventually compliments.

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Extra info for Linguistic Politeness Across Boundaries: The Case of Greek and Turkish

Example text

The problem with such statements is the level of generalisation implied. Thorny epistemological debates abound in the social sciences on this issue. Without dismissing the post-modernist emphasis on reflexivity and its concomitants, I uphold the validity of generalisation based on empirical data and supportive evidence. With regard to Greece, notwithstanding identifiable urban/rural, regional, generational and educational differences, generalising statements referring to overall cultural features are common currency in anthropological writing and do not deny the differentiations within the society.

This formulaic disclaimer highlights a key issue in relations of exchange. I suggest that it expresses the reluctance to recognise the debt and the obligation inherent in accepting a gift. This stylistic non-recognition can be contrasted with the conventions of elaborate acknowledgement of the gift in other cultures. Possibly too, this formulaic dismissal of a gift as if it might indicate a deficiency in the host family could reflect pride in the household’s integrity (relating also to Greek village values of the household as a self-sufficient unit, symbolically a cornucopia, see du Boulay 1974: 38–40.

9. The temporal point of reference is the character of Greece’s economy before joining the EU in 1981. Arguments regarding processes of social change cannot be examined here but, in summary form, my contention is that core values, central cultural themes and preoccupations do not change very rapidly. They are, however, pre-eminently flexible, are subject to adaptation and adjustment. Thus, they might seem to change, taking different epiphenomenal expressions which may appear to be “modernising” while in fact the underlying concerns remain the same, cf.

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