This course aims to develop students’ understanding of key theoretical perspectives and issues in linguistic (im)politeness and their capacity to apply the theories to authentic data. It will cover major approaches, from early classic politeness theories to more recent developments which take into account or deal with lay perceptions of (im)politeness. It also explores (im)politeness and sociocultural variation as well as how (im)politeness is used and perceived in specific contexts such as in the workplace and in social media. Examples will be drawn from a wide range of sources such as everyday conversations, political communication and online communication, with special reference to the Hong Kong context.
- What is ‘(im)politeness’?
- Pragmatic approaches to (im)politeness
- Discursive approaches to (im)politeness
- (Im)politeness and variation
- (Im)politeness in specific contexts
- To introduce students to key theoretical perspectives and issues in linguistic (im)politeness;
- To develop students’ critical awareness of the key issues in (im)politeness research;
- To enable students to engage with issues relating to gender, power and culture, as they relate to linguistic (im)politeness;
- To develop students’ capacity to apply the theories learnt to authentic data.
- Lectures (2 hours a week) will introduce fundamental concepts and theories.
- Tutorials (1 hour every week or fortnight depending on class size) will provide opportunities for students to engage in exercises and discussion.
Assessment for the course is 100% coursework. It is comprised of three parts:
- Tutorials and in-class participation (20%)
- Mid-term test (20%)
- Assignment: A 2,000-word essay (60%)
There is no specific textbook for the course. Relevant readings and references will be provided in class.