Idioma: Español
Fecha: Subida: 2021-04-07T00:00:00+02:00
Duración: 19m 07s
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Corpus linguistics in historical (im)politeness: tracing sociolinguistic patterns through CORIECOR

David Sotoca Fernández (Universidad de Extremadura)


The construction of a community’s identity is closely linked to the peculiarities of the linguistic
variety spoken by its members. The usage of a series of politeness or impoliteness patterns
among a group of speakers contributes to shaping their general tendencies with regards social
distance management. This paper intends to contribute to the disentangling of the linguistic
construction of the Irish identity by focusing on the diachronic evolution of its recurrent
(im)politeness patterns. It will therefore aim at spotting the major discourse strategies within
this linguistic variety through time by focusing on a specific speech act triggering face
negotiations (reproaches) and analyzing the most frequent ways of encoding it.
The usage of Corpus Linguistics within academic research has allowed for more empirically
based studies on language change and language variation to be performed. This paper resorts
to computational tools to withdraw empirical evidence with which to analyze the (im)politeness
features of Irish English through time, using the materials available in CORIECOR (Corpus of
Irish English Correspondence). Tools such as AntConc and Microsoft Excel enable the
quantification of the sociopragmatic features observed during a previous qualitative analysis.
Qualitative and quantitative research procedures are thence combined in order to achieve
tangible conclusions from the available data.
The field of (im)politeness has experienced a great number of changes since its early
conceptualization stemming from Goffman’s social theory and Brown and Levinson’s widely
cited volume Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. The perception of “politeness”
and “impoliteness” as separate elements in linguistic interaction has long been abandoned
thanks to the work of several scholars such as Culpeper or Terkourafi. Similarly, the initial idea
of the universality of “face” has also been put to question by a number of scholars, namely
Spencer-Oatey or Matsumoto. Nowadays there seems to be a consensus on the idea that the
functions of politeness and impoliteness fluctuate from culture to culture and that they should
therefore be understood as the two sides of the same phenomenon (thence the term
(im)politeness being more recurrent in academia) and that face values and interactional maxims
vary from culture to culture and should therefore be observed individually in order to ultimately
extract further conclusions. This research takes an initial standpoint that is based on
reconceptualizations of (im)politeness theory performed by scholars such as Arundale or
Terkourafi. This means the material is observed individually and evaluated in context in order
to be assessed within a together-apartness axis. In doing this, specific speech acts can later on
be isolated and studied quantitatively in order to discern linguistic patterns in social interaction.
An initial approach to the material within a smaller sample corpus from CORIECOR reveals
that there seems to be a tendency within Irish English speakers to encode reproaches through
impoliteness strategies. These strategies, however, do not seem to imply the creation of a
greater conceptual distance between interactants. First results point towards the idea that by
presupposing proximity, speakers of Irish English take the license of performing blatant facethreatening acts that, though presenting a negative aspect of the person at the other end of the
interaction, strengthen the idea of group membership.


Congreso Cilc 2021


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Serie: CILC2021: Corpus y variación lingüística / Linguistic variation and change through corpora (+información)