Politeness: a relevant issue for relevance theory

Victoria Escandell Vidal


The aim of this paper is to offer some guidelines for an explanation of politeness in the framework of Relevance Theory. I will suggest that the notion of social adequacy is to be preferred to that of strategy; as a primitive for politeness theory, and try to show how such a notion can be integrated into a cognitive model. Some aspects concerning the status of politeness will be then considered under the light of Wilson & Sperber's (1993) distinctions: whether (or in which sense) it is an implicature, whether (or in which sense) it is communicated, whether (or in which sense) it is relevant. The predictions that emerge from adopting this point of view make it possible to provide a detailed and consistent account of politeness manoeuvres and effects.


Teoría de la relevancia; Cortesía; Implicatura; Estrategias discursivas; Intencionalidad; Enfoque cognitivo

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1998.11.05

Copyright (c) 1998 Victoria Escandell Vidal

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