Politeness and Impoliteness Strategies in the Courtroom: An Analysis of a Trail Script

Abstract

This research presents a conversation analysis (CA) study based on the data from an American reality TV show which aims at solving the following question: what type of politeness and impoliteness strategies are applied by the participants in the courtroom? Results from the trial conversation data show that the conflict between the speakers is the major factor that causes much greater use of impoliteness strategies. Among the impoliteness strategies, the most notable strategy is positive impoliteness in the way of using inappropriate identity marker, seeking disagreement and selecting a sensitive topic, making the other feel uncomfortable, and excluding the other form an activity. Moreover, when the conflict was solved, there is a remarkable turn in the application of communicative strategy. All the participants mainly use politeness strategies including negative and positive strategies. To be specific, in the positive strategies, common ground, conveying cooperation between speaker and hearer and fulfilling hearer’s wants are mostly used. The results reveal that the use of politeness and impoliteness strategies by the participants in courtrooms is one of the distinct ways of seeking the truth and pursuing justice. However, the unequal power status among the participants becomes a spotlight in the courtroom, which also stimulates the application of impoliteness strategies. The findings of the study may provide a relevant reference for the further study of politeness and impoliteness strategy in reality TV show, particularly, in trial settings.



Author Information
Tilabi Yibifu, Akita International University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACL2020
Stream: Language and Communication

This paper is part of the ACL2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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