American Journal of Linguistics 2013, 2(2): 17-27
DOI: 10.5923/j.linguistics.20130202.02

An Overview of Politeness Theories: Current Status, Future Orientations

Mohsen Shahrokhi*, Farinaz Shirani Bidabadi

Department of English, Shahreza Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahreza, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract :This paper is an endeavour to depict a holistic image of theories of politeness ranging from classic theories of politeness to the most up-to-date theories. To this end, the reviews of the social norm view, the conversational maxim view, the conversational-contract view, Brown and Levinson’s face-saving view, Arndt and Jannaey’s Supportive face-work and interpersonal politeness, Spencer-Oatey’s view of rapport management, Ide’s notion of discernment and volition, Scollon and Scollon’s intercultural communication, and Watt’s politeness view are provided and the main tenets of every theory are explained critically. The explanation of the current status of theories of politeness would be followed by conclusions that provide some orientations for future studies conducted on politeness.

Keywords Politeness, Face, Face-threat, Verbal Interaction