POLITENESS STRATEGY IN INFORMAL COMMUNICATION SETTING
Graduate Student of Applied English Linguistics, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia. Indonesia
The study of politeness theory has become an important aspect of language and interaction among people around the world. In using language as a tool to communicate with other people around us sometimes misunderstanding is likely to happen if participants failed to use the communicative theory let’s say; politeness theory in appropriate place. Several people are actually responsible named of this theory, the face work theory was named by Ervin Goffman in (1967) and the politeness theory was named by Penelope Brown and Steven Levinson in (1987). Much like Goffman, Browm and Levinson believed that face work was assumed to be so important strategy in order to protect and maintain one’s face. The later type of theory is objective because it aims to save one’s face or pride and it help into appointed across the person or being communicated to.
Although, naturally people have their own perception of what is considered to be polite and impolite during conversing with other people whether it is in spoken language or written ones. Whether in a smallest community such as; home for example to the biggest group of communication setting like seminar or conference. However, do they know when and how to express their politeness either in positive or negative way toward others either in formal or informal communication context? This research is aimed observe how do the participants use politeness in a small group of informal communication setting.
B. Literature Reviews
In recent years many studies on politeness theory have been conducted by linguists and scholars as such; Iragiliati, 2006; Vilkki, 2006; Sifianou, 2013; Locher, 2013; Jumanto,2014; Redmond, 2015. The linguists and scholars who conducted these studies basically refers to the earlier studies on the emerges of the face work and politeness theories conducted by several most influenced linguists named Erving Goffman (1967) and Brown and Lavinson (1987).
According to Goffman (1967) defined that face work as a person’s face. He pointed that face is public self image that every individual tries to protect. That mean it is ways of people protecting their faces either to positive face or it refers to ones selves team (groups of people) or negative face without refers to one freedom to act. People often measures this theories to see how individual use positives and negative face along with politeness. Many research projects gathered a group of people, it could be large or small and discuss of their common knowledge. Most research showed sudden volunteers interact face to face so that it can be measured how the individuals convey their opinion in politeness about their opinions while communicating with people and receiving a feedback. Through the communicative setting basically our face displayed the way we communicate and interact with other people around us determines by our behaviors. Goffman divided the face work theory into several categories; positive face, negative face, face threatening act (FTA)
Brown and Lavinson (1987) in their theory basically deal with managing identities when interacting or communicating with other people around us. This theory might vary depending on the culture that one may be exposed to when applied to face threat acts (FTA’s). In other hand divided the politeness theory into 4 categories such as; bald on record, Off the record, Positive politeness, and negative politeness.
Brown and Levinson’s (1987: 66) frequently quoted definition is that ‘face’ is “the public self-image that every member wants to claim for himself”, consisting of two interrelated albeit somewhat conflicting aspects: ‘positive face’ refers to the desire to be appreciated and approved of by at least some others and ‘negative face’ refers to the desire to be free from impositions. However, in most languages, face is a polysemous word based on various metaphorical and metonymic meaning extensions. As the face is one of the most significant parts of the human body, its meaning has extended from the physical object it signifies to the whole human being, including physical and non-physical aspects.
C. Research Question
This mini research mainly implements a descriptive –qualitative method in. This method according to ( Green, 2007 as cited in (Kurniawan, 2015) is the most suitable method as it aims to answer the question about the ‘what” of a phenomenon and as this research involving words decoding rather than numbers and in-deph elaboralation of findings and analysis. This mini research is to describe how people use Brown and Levinson’s (1978) politeness interactional theory in informal comunication setting based on a topic given.
The participant of this mini research in consist of 5 people from different background of language and culture but somehow they are connected in one similar working environtment.
1. A young woman named Sherly. She is a student of Tri Sakti University Majoring in Office Management and 4 men named;
2. Pak Ustad, a 45 years old married man and work as a Division Manager, Bang Roni is a 42 years old married man.
3. He is an accountant in Sherly’s father company named ‘Andy’s Expedition’,
4. Ijal is a 40 years old married man who work as one of the maintenace service in that company and,
5. Sifa is a 40 years old women who conducted the research. In this discussion she was acting as a stumuli for the discussion’ participants.
The relationhip between the participants is; Sarah is the daughter of the Andy’s Expedition while the three men are the employees of this Expedition.
This mini research was taken at Shelrly family’s resident located at Jalan Kebon Kacang 5. no 65. Tanah Abang. Jakarta
d. Analysis Data Collection..
The data will be analysis based on the 45 minutes discussion’s transcripts on the topic proposed by the researcher before the discussion began. The data are then separated into some chuncks of converses and be clasiffied based on Brown and and Lavinson’s politeness strategies and then those chunks are compared and analyzed accordingly using the the theory mentioned above.
E. Finding and Discussion
Vilkki , L 2006 , Politeness, face and facework: Current issues . in A man of measure : Festschrift in honour of Fred Karlsson on his 60th birthday . vol. 2006/19 , SKY journal of linguistics, special supplement , no. 19 , The Linguistic Association of Finland , Turku , pp. 322-332 .