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NORWEGIAN CONVERSATIONAL POLITENESS. BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

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Author(s): Paulina Horbowicz

Journal: Studia Humanistyczne AGH
ISSN 1732-2189

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 141;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Norwegian language | linguistic politeness | conversation analysis | Norwegian discourse | Norwegian culture

ABSTRACT
The paper analyses the concept of politeness in the context of Norwegian everyday conversation. Instead of following the widely accepted concept of universality of politeness structures, it refers the theoretical background for considering politeness as realising culturally preconditioned communication patterns. Such patterns consist both of adequate face work, and of obligations connected to speaker/listener role, the latter realised through the system of adjacency pairs. The basic rules prevailing in Norwegian conversations are discussed, such as maintaining a clear and harmonious fl ow of talk or non-imposing on one’s conversational partner. These rules are exemplified on extracts from interethnic dialogues between Poles using Norwegian as a second language, and native speakers of Norwegian. The conclusions of the paper are twofold; it calls for the concept of politeness to be considered on the broader level of discourse rather than the level of single speech acts. Additionally, it stresses the role of ethnic communication pattern in second/foreign language teaching. The realisation of communication patterns allows for a legitimate participation in conversation, which in turn is vital for a successful construction of identity in second/foreign language.

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