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Title: I wouldn't say that if I were you: Face-to-face with foreign-language impoliteness
Author: Mugford, G.
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Foreign language (FL) users often come head-to-head with potentially difficult face-threatening situations in the target language (TL) where they have to respond immediately and appropriately. Sociocultural and linguistic misunderstandings often mean that FL users misconstrue speaker intention and wrongly judge a given interaction to be either polite or face-threatening. Impoliteness/rudeness is essentially a subjective assessment and FL teachers are often faced with the daunting task of trying to understand students' perceptions of impolite behaviour and prepare them for future scenarios involving inappropriate language use. In this paper, I explore how FL users view, respond to and contend with the face-threatening act (FTA) in the TL. First, I examine whether impoliteness/rudeness in FL contexts is best understood through theorybased approaches or through lay perceptions i. e., the FL users' own definitions. Secondly, I propose a different terminology which may be more relevant when describing FL users' perceptions of inappropriate language use. Thirdly, I consider how FL users identify impoliteness/rudeness within a given situation by examining their evaluations of inappropriate language use, assumed conversational objectives and interactants' communicative intentions and responses. Finally, I examine how FL users employ pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic resources when responding to an FTA in the TL. © Walter de Gruyter.
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