MODIFYING REQUESTS AS FACE-THREATENING SPEECH ACTS
Requests are face-threatening speech acts, so whenever speakers decide to make one, they need to be aware of its illocutionary force and the effect it has on the hearers. In order to lower the requests’ imposing force, speakers tend to modify them. Thus, they hope that hearers will accept them without feeling threatened. This paper aims to investigate the linguistic means used by speakers to modify their requests both in English and Macedonian, in order to make them more acceptable for the hearers. More precisely, it examines their internal modification with the use of syntactic downgraders and lexical and phrasal upgraders, as well as the external modification with the use of mitigating and aggravating supportive moves. The corpus was collected by using a DCT (discourse-completion test). Three groups of respondents were asked to make requests given some specific situations – Macedonian native speakers (in Macedonian), English native speakers (in English) and learners of English (in English). The research showed that all respondents use both types of modification, but the internal modification seems to be more frequently used than the external. The use of the external modification is optional and depends mostly on the speaker’s judgment of the imposing force of the request based on social and cultural factors.
Blum-Kulka, S., House, J. and Kasper, G. (1989). Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies. Norwood: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
Brown, P. and Levinson, C.S. (1978 (1987)). Politeness. Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge University Press.
Economidou-Kogetsidis,M. (2002). Requesting Strategies in English and Greek: Observations from an Airline’s Call Centre. Nottingham Linguistic Circular 17.
Faerch, C., & Kasper, G. (1989). Internal and external modification in interlanguage request realization. In S. Blum-Kulka, J. House, & G. Kasper (Eds.), Cross-cultural pragmatics (pp. 221-247). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Grice,H.P. (1969). Utterer’s meaning, sentence-meaning, and word-meaning. Foundations of Language (Reprinted in Searle (1971: 54-70).
Grice,H.P. (1975). Logic and Conversation. In Cole&Morgan (1975: 41-58). (Part of 32
Leech, N.G. (1983). The Principles of Pragmatics. Longman Group Ltd. (1986).
Olshtain, E. and Weinbach, L. 1993. Interlanguage Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
Searle, J.R. (1969). Speech Acts. Cambridge University Press.
Searle, J.R. (1971). The Philosophy of language. Oxford University Press.
Бојковска, С., Минова-Ѓуркова, Л., Пандев, Д., Цветковски, Ж. (1997).
Македонски јазик за средното образование. Просветно дело
Бугарски, Р. (2003). Језик, друштво, сазнање: професору Ранку Бугарском од његових студената. Чигоја штампа Београд.
Кусевска, М., Трајкова, З., Нешковска, С., Смичковска, Ф. (2014). Говорни чинови. Барање, заблагодарување,извинување, приговарање во англискиот и во македонскиот јазик. Академски печат.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.