Revisiting Brown and Levinson's Politeness Theory: A Middle-Eastern Perspective

Volume 2, Issue 2, Article 3 - 2019

Authors: Tahani Saleh Alabdali

Copyright © 2019 . This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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This article attempts to examine the theory of politeness proposed by Brown and Levinson in 1978. It presents its strengths and weaknesses from the point of view of many experienced linguists. Furthermore, the author contributes with her own observations and research results in relation to the theory and its applicability in Middle Eastern, particularly Arabic speaking communities. This article tackles the theory from a Middle Eastern perspective, when so far it has been mainly discussed in Western or Far Eastern cultures. The findings suggest that certain factors need to be added to the formula which Brown and Levinson (1978) have put forward as a means to calculate the weightiness of face-threatening acts. Such factors relate to the specific religious, environmental, and gestural aspects of different speech communities. Nevertheless, the theory proved to be applicable to a wide range of Western as well as Eastern cultures.

How To Cite This Article

Tahani Saleh Alabdali (2019) Revisiting Brown and Levinson's Politeness Theory: A Middle-Eastern Perspective
Bulletin of Advanced English Studies Vol 2 (2) 73-78