Personal reference and politeness strategies in French and Spanish : a corpus-based approach
The aim of this thesis is to examine personal pronominal reference in two lang1;5ges, French and Spanish, from an interactional perspective. Brown and Levinson's (1978, 1987) 'Politeness theory' seeks to provide an explanation for much of the mismatch between what is 'said' and what Is 'implicated' in spoken discourse. One area of speech where this mismatch is particularly evident is that of personal reference where extralinguistic information is paramount in its use and interpretation. While previous approaches to this area have sought to assign one interpretation to a given pronominal use, this study seeks to show how speakers and hearers can exploit a multiplicity of potential values in the interest of faceprotection. Based on 5 qualitative methodology derived from the field of linguistic pragmatics applied to a corpus of naturally-oc:urring data of speech situations where there is threat to the face of speakers and hearers, this study will argue that the contextual factors of power and status as well as a knowledge of linguistic politeness itself are of crucial :mportance in the use and interpretation of persmal reference.