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Accommodation (Howard Giles)
Speakers tend to adapt their language to accommodate for others in a conversation. Moving closer to the other person is known as convergence while moving further away is known as divergence. Either of these can be done upwards by making your speech more standard/prestige or downwards by moving further from standard forms.
Face (Erving Goffman)
People always have a face they are projecting in conversation, and generally participants co-
Positive and Negative Face (Brown and Levinson)
Our negative face wishes to act independently, to not be imposed on by others. Our positive face wishes to be liked and to feel a part of things.
In many conversations, we need to ‘threaten’ people’s faces by asking them to do something that imposes on their freedom, or by criticising them. We tend to seek to lessen these face-
Strategies that appeal to people’s positive face by making them feel liked, accepted, ‘part of the group’, such as informality, shared references, are known as positive politeness strategies.
Those strategies that appease people’s negative face by lessening the imposition or acknowledging it, such as hedging and modal verbs, are known as negative politeness strategies. Negative politeness is more polite than positive politeness, and is more likely to be used towards people of higher status. There are also cultural differences -
The terminology can be confusing here -
All participants in conversation are co-
Relation: stay on topic, make relevant contributions.
Quality: make contributions which are true or for which you have evidence.
Quantity: say neither too much nor too little.
Manner: make clear contributions which present information in a well-