Analyzing the Meaning in Interaction in Politeness Strategies in Scent of a Woman

Abstract

Author(s): Ning ZHAO

Discourse analysis is conducted to analyze the "face-threatening acts" (FTA) in some conversations of Scent of a Woman (1993), the Best Picture of Oscar in 1993. Brown and Levinson's (1978) framework of positive politeness or negative politeness is adopted to examine how a cynical old colonel talked with a nice junior and a beautiful girl respectively in unconventional ways, which enable them to develop friendship thanks to the (im)politeness strategies used, e.g. bald-on-record or off-record tactic. The "meaning in interaction" in the (im)politeness strategies is explored. The analysis of politeness in action in this film uncovers both the informational and affective dimensions of language use in structuring human relationship and friendship.

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