Mitigating disagreement: Cross-cultural perspective

Kusevska, Marija (2015) Mitigating disagreement: Cross-cultural perspective. Jezik, knjizevnost, diskurs. Jezicka istrazivanja. pp. 351-362. ISSN 978-86-7379-369-6

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This paper investigates mitigation of disagreement in English and Macedonian. The investigation is conducted on patterns of disagreement in English (the USA) and Macedonian at more or less informal meetings. Mitigation has been generally described as the linguistic communicative strategy of softening an utterance, reducing the impact of an utterance, or limiting the face loss associated with a message (Czerwionka 2012). Mitigation in disagreement is closely connected with politeness and speakers of negative-politeness cultures apply mitigation to avoid disagreement. In order to save the face of the interlocutor, speakers may use different means of mitigation: discourse markers, words, verb tense or aspect, syntactic constructions, sequential organization of talk, intonation, prosody, or even silence can all be used for mitigating purposes, depending on the context (Caffi 2007). Keeping in mind that the speech acts analyzed in this study were produced by speakers from different cultures, we may expect that there will be differences in the way they had been mitigated. In particular, this paper focuses on how Macedonian and American speakers mitigate their disagreement. Its goals are: 1. to investigate to what extent disagreement is mitigated in English and Macedonian; 2. to investigate the frame of disagreement in the two languages; and 3. to map the linguistic means used to mitigate disagreement in the two cultures. Key words: pragmatics, mitigation, disagreement, politeness, face, intercultural communication

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Humanities > Languages and literature
Divisions: Faculty of Philology
Depositing User: Marija Kusevska
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 13:51
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2015 13:51

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