Although the politeness mainly is considered in cross-cultural andinterlanguage studies as a main point in indirect speech acts, but this theoryis still developing. Therefore, it seems that there is necessity to a short description of the most influential models of politeness theorywhich was adopted as a framework theory in the current research. Leech’s Politeness Principle (1983)may be seen as a continuation of Grice’s Cooperative Principle in the way itprovided a model of politeness within conversation. While in contrast to Grice,Leech attempted to explain, what the real means of indirect speech act inpeople’s interactions .
Since, he proposed that some independent variables “social distance, authority,costs and benefits of an act” which indirectly described the notion of context.Since, he proposed that some independent variables “social distance, authority,costs and benefits of an act” which indirectly describe the notion of context.Social distance refers to the social relationship between interactants thatsocial relationship can be that of closeness (e.
g. family members and closefriends) or distance (e.g. unknown people). Authority contains factors such asspeaker and hearer social position within age and gender. Costs and benefits ofan act infer the effect of the act produced by the speaker on the hearer (ascited in Šubertová, 2013).According to Lakoff who stated thatmake yourself clear and be polite are two main principles governinglinguistic and non-linguistic interactions which first one is influenced of Grice’scooperative principle and maxims, whereas the second one works by the threerules of politeness. i) formality (do notimpose); ii) hesitancy (allow the addressee his options); iii) equality ofcamaraderie (act as though and addressee were equal/make him feel good).
Lakoff is concerenedthat context influences the choice of maxims in the process of communication,in addition, she was more interested in crucial factors “status differencesbetween interlocutors, degree of familiarity between speaker and hearer, andthe culture in which the utterance is made” to produce polite or impoliteutterances within contextual conditions (as cited in Schauer, 2009, p. 10).In politeness theory that is adoptedfrom Grice’s cooperative principle, Brown and Levinson (1987) attempted toclarify Austin’s (1962) classification of utterances, which related to thesocial functions of language within interaction bearing and speaker’srationality in conversation. Brown and Levinson defined the notion of face with”the aspects of face as basic wants, which every member knows every othermember desires, and which in general, it is in the interests of every member topartially satisfy” (1987, p. 62).
As well as, face depends on whether thespeaker choices to perform a face threatening act (FTA) or face saving act(FSA). An FTA is defined as “those acts that by their nature run contrary tothe face wants of the addressee and/or the speaker” and a FSA involving attenuation in thepossible threat that may use as positive or negative politeness strategies(Brown & Levinson, 1987, p. 65).
Positive politeness means as aimed “to savepositive face by demonstrating closeness and solidarity, appealing tofriendship, making other people feel good, and emphasizing that both speakershave a common goal” (Cutting, 2008, p. 48).That minimization in the impositionis achieved by showing distance between speaker and hearer, avoiding impositionor presuming, and giving the hearer’s options (Cutting, 2008).At the same vein, Brown and Levinsonprovided five categories within which the speaker can choose when performing aFTA. These three categories are those of social distance, relative power, andabsolute ranking of impositions in the particular culture.This strategy is suitablefor the speaker who wants to do an FTA, but by no means directly addressing tothe hearer and thus, leaving the responsibility to the hearer to interpret theutterance as an FTA or not. This off-record strategy implies an indirect use oflanguage and the flouting of Gricean maxims of efficient communication.Otherwise, if the speakerdecides to do the FTA on record, there are two possibilities: doing it withoutredressive action, badly or with redressive action by using positive politenessstrategies or negative politeness strategies.
The FTA without redressive actionmeans following Grice’s maxims, then conveying efficient communication byuttering direct messages. Brown and Levinson(1987) differentiated between the use of positive and negative politenessstrategies to achieve redressive action. They suggested three main positivepoliteness strategies, which lead to fifteen different strategies to achieve anon-record FTA with redressive action (p. 102).