Disclaimer: This dissertation has been written by a student and is not an example of our professional work, which you can see examples of here.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this dissertation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKDiss.com.

Flouting Maxims and Hedging: Analysis of Deepwater Horizon

Info: 7653 words (31 pages) Dissertation
Published: 16th Dec 2019

Reference this

Tagged: Film Studies


  1. Background of the problem

Everyone can produce the utterances wherever and whenever they are, such as in school home, song or movies, etc. Many people like watching movie. Movie is a phenomenon social, psychological, and aesthetic phenomenon that is a document consisting of stories and pictures accompanied by words and music. In movie, the characters produce utterance to make conversations with others. There are many kinds of movies such as: action movies, comedy movies, romance movie, action movies, thriller movies, drama movies, real story, etc. One of examples the movie is based on action movies, thriller movies, drama movie, real story is “Deepwater Horizon” movie. The researcher choose “Deepwater Horizon” movie as the object research.

This movie tells us how the chronology the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Macondo. At the time of the tragic events, according to official records reported up to 126 people above the refinery. Of these, 11 workers died and 17 others were injured. The eleven victims are estimated to be those near the initial site of the fire and therefore can not avoid the explosion that happened immediately and started the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history, releasing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

This movie is realized on September 29, 2016 which is this movie was directed by Peter Berg and written by Matthew Sand and Matthew Michael Carnahan. The characters in this movie are: Mark Wahlberg as Mike Williams, Kurt Russell as Jimmy Harrell (Mr. Jimmy) John Malkovich as Donald Vidrine, Gina Rodriguez as Andrea Fleytas, Dylan O’Brien as Caleb Holloway, Kate Hudson as Felicia Williams, Ethan Suplee as Jason Anderson, Trace Adkins as grieving father in hotel, Brad Leland as Robert Kaluza, Joe Chrest as David Sims, James DuMont as Patrick O’Bryan, Dave Maldonado as Captain Curt Kutcha, Douglas M. Griffin as Alwin Landry, Juston Street as Anthony Gervasio.

On the scene this movie, The occurrence of interaction conversations between characters during a panic situation, the conversation result in flouting and hedging. Flouting itself is one of the most frequent maxim violations and has several categories. Flouting itself is where the speaker blatantly fails to convey something or the intent of his goal to the other person. Usually the violations that occur are deliberate by the speaker. Speaker of the speaker just wanted his interlocutor to find other meanings of his words, which violate the maxim.

One of example of conversation about flouting in movie

“00:19:47,280 –> 00:19:53,736”

Mike  : Hey, stick shift or automatic?

Andrea  : Do you know me?

Mike  : Oh, you gotta stop grindin’

shit out of that clutch.

Context        : This is in a situation where Mike and Andrea down the stairs to prepare to go to their respective work post. On the stairs Mike talked about Andrea’s car.

On the conversation above, it can be seen that Mike asked the information directly to Andrea. But Andrea did not answer and she turned to Mike. This can be seen from Andrea who says “Do you know me?”. It is clear what information Mike wants is not available.

Meanwhile, Hedging maxims is one way to make the conversation look as if it fulfills the cooperative principle. In fact, the speakers do not fulfill those principles. Sometimes there are some expressions used by the speakers to address that they do not fully adhere to the principles.

One of example the conversations of hedging:

“00:18:31,200 –> 00:18:33,616

Captain Landry : I heard you had a positive pressure test this morning. I guess they assume the negative test is gonna run just as smooth.

Context : Andrea contacted Captain Landry by the radio on his ship. And ask what they’re doing around the Deepwater Horizon.

On the conversation above, Andrea tried to ask why Captain Landry was in the area around Deepwater Horizon. Captain Landry said ‘I guess they assume the negative test is gonna run just as smooth’. Referring to the word “guess’’ The existence of doubt the meaning of the word, so that what is delivered is not necessarily true.

In additionally, This object of study is chosen because of some reasons: first, up to now, the real story movie is still popular in the world, include in Indonesia.  Second, background of movie based on accident an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well drilling platform tragically killed 11 workers, and started the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history, releasing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Third, in the movie when the characters delivering their expressing ideas and feeling, opinions, sometimes they flouted and hedged the maxims.

  1. Identification of the problem

Referring to the background of the problem above, the problems of flouting maxims and hedging can be found in the movie Deepwater Horizon. Flouting maxims and hedging in this film show relates between characters in their conversation. Moreover, the phenomena flouting maxims and hedging are signalling the situation the exploded and burned in Deepwater Horizon. To investigate these problems, the theory of pragmatics is used. Pragmatics is studies language usage that is associated with the context of use

  1. Limitation of the problem

Based on identification of the problem above, in pragmatics study, there are so many kinds of attractive problems that can be analyze. So, the researcher will analyze all the English conversation that is support the flouting and hedging maxims used by main character on “Deepwater Horizon”.

  1. Formulation of the problem

Referring to the explanation above, the researcher formulates this research as follow: “The maxims flouted and hedged by the characters  in Deepwater Horizon movie”.

  1. Research questions

Referring to the formulation of the research above, the researcher formulated the research questions as follow; “which types of maxims are flouted or hedged by the character ?

  1. Purpose of the research

From the research question above, this research has goal to describe the types of maxims that are flouted or hedged by the character in Deepwater Horizon movie.

  1. Significance of the research

This study is expected to give both academically and practically contribution in discourse studies, especially in flouting and hedging maxims used by some people in their conversation. Theoretically, this research is expected to enrich the understanding of pragmatic studies, especially in using flouting and hedging maxims. It is expected that the findings in this research will give a direct contribution to the existing knowledge in the field of Linguistics.

In practically, to the readers of this study; it is expected that this research can give them understanding about some rules to make a smooth communication by giving a clear information and avoid using maxim flouting and hedging of Cooperative Principle. Thus, they can increase their consciousness and also be able to deliver their statements, arguments, and comments in a correct way. To the students of English Department majoring; this research is expected to give some contribution to the field of pragmatics study. To the other researchers; it is expected that the findings and the discussion in this research can be used as a reference for further study, especially for the relevant type of research.

  1. Definition of key terms
  1. Flouting itself is where the speaker blatantly failed to communicate something to the other.
  2. Hedging maxims is one way to make the conversation look as if it fulfills the cooperative principle. In fact, the speakers do not fulfill those principles.
  3. Deepwater Horizon movie is the tell based on the chronology the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Macondo.


  1. Pragmatics

Pragmatics is the study that relates the language and its users, namely speakers and hearers (Yule, 1996: 4). By means of this definition, Yule states that pragmatics is the study in language that connects the communicated meaning by the speaker. This leads the hearer to uncover the intended meaning behind the speaker‟s utterances which depends on the context of the utterances that are being said. This study also considers the distance when the speaker and the hearer are in a conversation. Thus, by studying pragmatics, people can use language better since the speaker and the hearer need to uncover each other‟s utterances and look at the implicit meaning behind those utterances.

Language, as a tool in communication and as an object in studies, can be expressed well through studying it within the scope of pragmatics. In pragmatics, people can understand more deeply how language can be used to communicate with other people and deliver their message well. Analyzing language using pragmatics can make the hearer know the meaning behind the speaker‟s utterances. It means that the utterance spoken by speaker can have more possible meanings besides its denotative meaning. The connotative meaning can be best explained through pragmatics that the hearer can infer the best possible meaning of the speaker‟s utterance.

Mey (2001: 6) states that pragmatics can be used as a medium to communicate between speakers and hearers which is determined by the condition of society. In society, the communication is used by means of language and the society itself in which these two aspects complete each other. The speaker and the hearer, as the users of the language, are parts of the society that depend their communication on the norms and rules that are applied in the society. Meanwhile by this communication, the society may control their access to linguistics and communicative means because as parts of the society, they communicate and use language on society’s premises.

In everyday language use, there are some features of language that are particularly important in pragmatics. Grundy (2000: 3-15) states that there are 8 features of everyday language use. They are:

  1. Appropriary

This feature helps people to know how to use a certain diction and to whom they may address it. An example of this feature is a conversation between a student and his/her teacher.

  1. Non-literal or indirenct meaning

In line with the appropriacy, non-literal or indirect meaning also fits in to the context in which it occurs. It is the way of saying what people mean by their utterances while sometimes the literal meaning is far from the indirect meaning that they mean.

  1. Inference

In understanding the indirect meaning behind the words that appear to have literal meaning in a conversation, there must be a way to convey the intended meaning of the speaker‟s utterance, which is by drawing an inference. Grundy (2000: 7) gives the example. When someone utters “I‟m a man”, this utterance can have different inferences if a man and a woman said this. There is nothing wrong when a man says that “I‟m a man”, but when a woman says “I‟m a man” then it is obviously incorrect. Thus, when people hear a woman says this utterance, this means that she wants people to convey the hidden meaning behind her utterance.

  1. Indeterminacy

Different meanings that a certain utterance has point out that there is an important consequence in which linguist called as „under-determined‟. This implies that the utterance spoken typically has some unclear meanings that from those possible meanings, it can be drawn into one inference that the speaker intends the hearer to convey.

From the example “I‟m a man” (Grundy, 2000: 7), the hearer needs to determine which of the possible different meanings is the best to convey the meaning behind the utterance. In other words, it can be said that by applying pragmatics in communication, it allows the hearer to have ability in unveiling the determined meaning behind the speaker‟s intention even when his/her utterances are under-determined.

  1. Context

The relationship between context and language is central in pragmatics. Without the context, the hearer will not be able to know how to determine the meaning behind the speaker‟s utterance. In fact, context helps the hearer to determine the utterances spoken by the speaker in which the utterances occur.

  1. Relevance

Determining of which the possible meanings are best conveyed behind the speaker‟s utterance means that the hearer can choose one of those possible meanings that are relevant to the context. By relevance, there are mechanisms that enable the hearer to check whether he/she has achieved the best understanding out of all possible meanings.

  1. Reflexivity

Using reflexivity in a discourse can make the hearer easier to understand the speaker‟s utterances. The speaker uses some comments in his/her utterances to show what he/she wants to say and by this way, the speaker lets the hearer to know how to understand his/her way of thinking.

  1. Misfires

Pragmatics misfires is a kind of pragmatics failure that results from language being used in a way that is not felt to be appropriate to the context. The importance of pragmatics misfires is that by it, people know that they have to pay attention to norms when they start a conversation.

  1. Context

To understand what speaker means, the people have to know or have to learn about context. Context is something that accompanies or that along with the text. Context of an utterance consist of speaker, the sentence which is uttered, the act performed in the uttering of sentence or hearer. Loukusa (2007:25) states that context is usually conceived as an extensive and multidimensional concept, which includes social, cognitive, cultural, linguistic, physical, and other non-linguistic context. Therefore, context can be said to encompass all the information that the hearer when interpreting language expressions.

Moreover, Radomski and Latham (2014), the context refers to the whole situation, background, or environment that is relevant to a particular event or personality. Besides Mey (2001:41) defines that context is about understanding what things are for; it is also what gives our utterances their true pragmatic meaning and allows them to be counted as true pragmatic acts.

From the definition above, it can be concluded that context is the important part in understand pragmatic meaning. It is also help the people to catch what the speaker says in order to the hearer is not misunderstanding. Besides that, context as surrounding social, cognitive, cultural, linguistic, physical.

  1. Cooperative principle

In communication, there must be a kind of rule applied to make a successful conversation. This rule will help both the speaker and the hearer in delivering their messages and conveying the meaning of their messages. This rule, called as Cooperative Principles. Moreover, Bruce (2016) says that cooperative principle is the basis for the maxims of conversation, and assumes that each person is trying in good faith to communicate and understand. Meanwhile, The cooperative principle, as enunciated by philosopher H. Paul Grice (as cited in Finnegan, 2004), is as follows: “Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged”.

Cooperative Principles (CP) will be explained in its four sub-principles, called maxims.These maxims will complete each other in a conversation and explain how the speaker and the hearer should do the conversation in order to make both of them understand each other‟s message. Grice (as cited in Grundy, 2000) statement that there are four types of maxim. They are maxim quantity, maxim quality, maxim relevance and maxim manner. The Cooperative Principles (CP) and four maxims are clearly explained in the below section.

The first maxim is maxim of quantityin which it says to be informative. Bruce (2016:179) says maxim of quantity is the speaker will say neither more nor less than is required. In this maxim, the speaker has to give the exact or precise information that he/she has about a topic being discussed about. He/she also has to decide what he/she wants to emphasize. By doing that, he/she will be able to decide whether the information he/she gives to the hearer is too much or too little. When he/she has decided that, he/she will also be able to make sure that the information he/she brings does not make the hearer neither bored or does not able to convey the message in his/her utterance.

The example of maxims of quantity:

Parent: Where did you go?

Adolescent: Out.

Parent: What did you do?

Adolescent: Nothing.

(Bruce 2016:179)

In this humorous example, of course the adolescent went “out” or the parent would have been able to observe what she was doing. And, of course the adolescent did more than “nothing” or she wouldn’t have gone out of the house to do it. The maxim of quantity requires that the adolescent respond, telling where she went (the mall, the movies, a friend’s house) and what she did (bought some clothes, saw a particular movie, socialized with friends).

The second maxim is maxim of quality. Bruce (2016:180) says the maxim of quality is speaker will say only what he or she believes to be truth.  This maxim informs the opponent said as the correct information. In a conversation, a speaker is expected to say anything that he/she believes to be real. The hearer will think that the speaker is being truthful in his/her utterances and that the speaker does not tell anything that he/she is sure it is wrong in reality. By this condition, the speaker also knows that the hearer expects him/her to say the truth. Thus, he/she will not say what he/she thinks that it is false.

The example of maxim of quality Bruce (2016:180)

You: What time is it?

Classmate: A quarter after nine.

In this exchange, the maxim of qualityrequires that you are being truthful in your ignorance of the time and your classmate is being truthful in giving reliable information. It is therefore a violation of the maxim of quality for You to reply

No it isn’t. It’s actually 9:17.

Because You had the information all along. It is also a violation of the maxim of quality if the person giving You the information has no access to a clock and knows that the information is not reliable. In addition, in maxim of quality the speaker speak will be able honest and real.

The third maxim is maxim of relevance. Bruce (2016:180) says in maxim of relevance the speaker will say only what is appropriate for the topic. When a speaker says something that has no relation with the utterance uttered before, it is said that the speaker does not observe maxim of relation. In order to be said to observe the maxim of relation, some of the speakers will point out that his/her utterance is relevant to the previous utterance.

An example in Bruce (2016:180) :

Outdoors, a comment on the weather may be a conversation starter, such as:

Hot enough for you?

But indoors, a comment like

Whew! It’s hot in here.

Brrr! I better keep my coat on.

It can be interpreted (according to the maxim of relevance) as a request for air conditioning, heating, closing the door, opening a window—whatever would be relevant to the situation. This kind of comment functions as an indirect request.

The fourth maxim is maxim of manner. Bruce (2016:180) says that in maxim of manner the speaker will be brief, concise and clear. A speaker is believed to observe maxim of manner when he/she makes an utterance step by step and clear. He/she will have to make an utterance in such a good arrangement so that the hearer will not feel confuse. An utterance which is said in a clear explanation will make the hearer easier in understanding what the speaker wants to say.

An example in Bruce (2016:180-181) :

The culture of the classroom allows the teacher to ask rhetorical questions of the class. Everyone understands that the teacher already knows the answers to these questions, that their purpose is to further the discussion; therefore, the maxim of quality has not been violated.

However, occasionally students violate the maxim of manner (especially as it applies to brevity and clarity) by giving an overly long reply in order to show off to classmates and the teacher.

Anthropology teacher : What is “culture”?

Student  : It’s the learned behavior, customs, and values of a society that the people in that society use to deal with each other and with their environment. It’s passed on from one generation to the next by parents, family members, and teachers, etc., etc. Sometimes you can guess that the affective meaning of this reply is.

Teacher : Look at me; I am smart.

In addition, maxim of manner is how the people is followed of the rule maxim manner that the utterance although his partner in conversation, speak by simplicity, efficiently and also avoid from ambiguously.

  1. Flouting maxim

Flouting the speakers clearly failed to communicate something to the other. Usually the violations occurred with the objective intended by the speaker interlocutor get different information from the initial purpose. Speaker interlocutor wanted to seek another meaning of his words. Based on Jia’s statement (2008; in Sobhani and Saghebi : 2014) the flouting maxim can be defined as occasions when one or several maxims are absent during communication processes.

Moreover, Grundy (2000: 76) states that when a speaker is employing maxim flouting, the hearer will still think that he/she is following the maxims of Cooperative Principles. Thus, the hearer has to look for the connotative meaning of the utterance said by the speaker. The hearer will also know that there is a hidden reason for the speaker to employ maxim flouting. Besides that, Cutting (2002:36) states that when the speaker seems not to hold on the maxims but expect the hearers to get the meaning implied, it is called flouting the maxims. He also divides the maxim into several :

  1. A speaker flouts the maxim of quantity when his contribution is not as informative as is required for the current purpose of the exchange and more informative than is required.


A: Well, how do I look?

B: Your shoes are nice…

Cutting (2002:37)

In the above example, it is clear that B does not mean that A‟s sweatshirt and jeans look nice, but he/she knows that A will know what B means. It is because A asks about his/her whole appearance, but B only tells him/her about the shoes he/she is wearing which is an answer that is related to it.

  1. A speaker flouts the maxim of quality when his contribution is not true and he says something for which lacks adequate evidence. It can be hyperbole (overstatement), metaphor, irony, banter, litotes (understatement), and sarcasm.

The example of maxim flouting of quality is given by Cutting (2002: 38) as :

 “Don‟t be such a wet blanket – we just want to have fun.”

The speaker uses metaphor in his/her utterance. The metaphor in this utterance functions as a medium to express his/her feeling towards the hearer who wants to disturb their enjoyment at that time instead of telling the hearer his/her true felling. In using maxim flouting of quality, the speaker does not want to express what he/she really feels towards the hearer, but he/she uses another word to imply it.

  1. Different from the concept of maxim flouting of quality which uses another expression in telling his/her feeling, a speaker flouts the maxim of relationexpresses what he/thinks by using words that does not have any relation to the previous utterance. This kind of maxim flouting lets the hearer to imply something that relates the speaker‟s utterance to the utterance uttered before. The example of this phenomenon can be seen in the section below:

When, in the changing room conversation, therefore, KK refers to the socks and says :

KK : They‟re wet and dirty.

IW : Like your mam.

Pridham (2001:39)

The above conversation occurs in the changing room, KK refers to socks and gets an answer “Like your mam” from his/her friend. From his/her utterance, IW wants KK to think rapidly of what he says and to draw a conclusion that shows the relevance of the two ideas. Thus, it can be implied that IW‟s utterance is a kind of simple play of words that is relevant to be called as a joke.

  1. The speaker who flouts the maxim of manner says something that is not clear enough for the hearer or utters an expression which has some possible meanings. Thus, when using maxim flouting of manner, the speaker is often confusing the hearer about the meaning carried by the speaker‟s utterances. This kind of maxim flouting is often used by the speaker to avoid other people to know about what kind of topic being talking about.

The example of maxim flouting of manner can be seen in the example below:

A : Where are you off to?

B : I was thinking of going out to get some of that funny white stuff for somebody.

A : OK, but don‟t be long – dinner‟s nearly ready.

(Cutting, 2002: 39)

The conversation takes place in a kitchen near living room when a husband (B) is talking to his wife (A) to buy ice-cream for their daughter. The kitchen and the living room is quite close enough to let their daughter knows what they are talking about. To avoid the over-excitement of their daughter of getting her favorite ice-cream, the husband uses words that will not be noticeable to their daughter to understand.

There are some ways of maxim flouting used by the speaker in a conversation based on Cutting (2002: 37-39). They are:

  1. Overstatement

This way of maxim flouting is often used by the speaker to flout the maxim of quantity. This phenomenon is called as overstatement by Grundy (2000). It can also be called as hyperbole. It is used to exaggerate the importance of the speaker‟s utterances. In other words, it is used to make the speaker‟s utterance seems more important that it is actually by adding unimportant information. The example of overstatement is given by Meyerhoff (2006: 86) as “Mouse! I haven‟t seen you in years. You look terrific! What are you up to?” From the example, the speaker clearly exaggerates his utterance by using “in years” though they just have not seen each other in some time. He also uses “terrific” to exaggerate his/her interest to the hearer.

  1. Understatement

It is a kind of maxim flouting in which the speaker gives too little information than the hearer needs to know. Grundy (2000) calls it as understatement to point the importance of the information given by the speaker is less than he/she needs to give to the hearer. The example of understatement is “I had an amazing time last night” (Cutting, 2002: 37). This utterance is used to make the hearer fells excited to hear the speaker‟s story, therefore, the hearer will ask about what happens last night.

  1. Metaphor

Metaphor is kind of way in using maxim flouting in which the speaker says something with some kinds of expression which have the  same characteristics with the one he/she is referring to. The example of maxim flouting using metaphor can be seen in the utterance “My house is a refrigerator in January” (Cutting, 2002: 37). The hearer will know that by using metaphor “a refrigerator”, the speaker is trying to tell the hearer that his/her house in very cold when it comes to January.

  1. Irony

According to Leech, irony is an expression that has a negative meaning of a positive utterance. It is often used to express politeness in an unkind way (in Cutting, 2002: 38). The example of irony in maximflouting can be seen in the utterance “If only you knew how much I love being woken up at 4 am by a fire alarm” (Cutting, 2002: 37). This utterance is said by a student to his/her friends when they are getting their breakfast downstairs. This utterance shows how the student is annoyed by the bell of the alarm in 4 am to wake them up and having breakfast early in the morning. This also implies that the student is expecting to have more sleep and eat breakfast not at 4 am.

  1. Banter

Having the opposite meaning with irony, banter expresses a positive meaning using negative utterance (Leech in Cutting, 2002: 38). Banter is used to show the intimacy of the speaker and the hearer using a negative utterance. The use of banter can be seen in the example given by Cutting which is “You‟re nasty, mean and stingy. How can you only give me one kiss?” (2002: 38). This example is uttered by a boy to his girlfriend. This kind of banter used in the example is intended to have a flirtatious meaning towards the girlfriend to make her kiss him one more time.

  1. Sarcasm

According to Cutting, sarcasm is a kind of irony that implies a more ironic and negative meaning towards the hearer (2002: 38). It is often used to openly hurt the hearer as in “Why don‟t you leave all your dirty clothes on the lounge floor, love, and then you only need wash them when someone breaks a leg trying to get to sofa?” (Cutting, 2002:38). This utterance is said by a wife to her husband. In this utterance, the wife is trying to tell the husband to help her a little bit in doing the housework. She is tired of doing that alone while her husband is not helping her; instead, he is making her more tired by leaving the entire dirty clothes all around the house.

  1. Irrelevant statement

Irrelevant statement is a way of using maxim flouting of relation. This way is used by the speaker with expectation that the hearer will relate the speaker‟s utterance with the previous utterance. In the example of conversation between Coward to his friend, Heckler, below, the irrelevant statement is used to show Coward‟s feeling about Heckler and his friends after they play Sirocco (1927).

Heckler : We expected a better play.

Coward : I expected a better manner.

(Sherrin in Cutting, 2002: 39)

The utterance “I expected a better manner” by Coward implies that his dissatisfaction is not because of they played badly but it is because the manner of Heckler and the other friends. If Heckler understands what Coward means in his utterance, he also understands that Coward does not like Heckler and his friends that shout a loud about the way he plays. This will make Heckler understands that he and his friends do not show good attitude as expected by Coward.

  1. Ambiguous statement

In ambiguous statement, the speaker is trying to make his/her utterance to be unclear to the third party that maybe exists in a conversation. This is usually used in maxim flouting of manner that the speaker does not want to include the third party in the conversation. The example of ambiguous statement is in “I sought to tell my love, love that never told can be” (Grice, 1975: 54). This utterance has several meanings carried in it. The phrase “my love” can either mean as the feeling of the speaker or the person that the speaker loves, while “love that never told can be” also has double meanings. First, it is “a feeling of emotion which is love that cannot be exposed to others.” Second, it is “a feeling that will be disappear when it is told to other people.”

  1. Hedging maxims

Hedge is an expression of a speaker in his/her utterance to show that he/she is aware of maxims of Cooperative Principles but not fully observing it. Hedge is usually used by a speaker to mark that his/her utterance may not be really true, to mention that some utterances that are not really connected to the previous one, and to show that he/she is trying to observe maxims of Cooperative Principles.

By using hedges, the speaker shows the hearer that she does not have complete information about the topic being discussed about as in the example below.

I may be mistaken, but I thought I saw a wedding ring on her finger.

Yule (1996: 38)

By using hedge in his/her utterance, the speaker‟s utterance will be understood as maxim hedging of quality. This utterance shows that the speaker is not sure whether the information about the girl they are talking about is married or not. But he/she wants to assure the hearer that at some points, he/she has seen her wearing a wedding ring on her finger.

Pragmatics is the study of the relationship between language and understanding the underlying context description language. Bruce (2016) states, Pragmatics is the study of the effect of context on meaning. It means that pragmatics is the study which meaning has influential in a conversational (belum selesai). In fact, pragmatics is about the practical use of language. It includes the study of how people use language to establish their identities through social meaning, to express their emotions through affective meaning, to perform speech acts with performative sentences, and to carry on conversations with others.

Pragmatics is the study of “invisible” meaning, or how we recognize what is meant even when it isn’t actually said or written (Yule, 2006). It means the pragmatics learn about the “implied” meaning where in conversation or in text.  Griffiths (2006) claims that is concerned with the use of these tools in meaningful communication. Pragmatics is about the interaction of semantic knowledge with our knowledge of the world, taking into account contexts of use.

Based on some opinions on the above, it can be concluded about the limitations of pragmatics. Pragmatics is a general study about how context affects the participants said in interpreting the meaning of a sentence or examined in relation to the speech situation.

  1. Hedges

Hedging can be understood as a tentative expression and possibly in a sentence. Hedging can make people’s sentences more subtle, without losing the essence of the idea that people will convey. With hedging, people’s sentences remain open to the possibility of other truths, without losing confidence in what they believe. With hedging, people do not claim the idea as the right thing so that the person is able to deal with elegant argument arguments.

According to Yule (2006) says that hedges can be defined as words or phrases used to indicate that we’re not really sure that what we’re saying is sufficiently correct or complete. It means hedges are sentences or words that indicate dubious meanings.

According to Fraser (as cited in Khalid Ahmed W, 2017) says that as words and expressions in the form of modals, uncertainty markers, fillers, tag questions, or others, that can (1) attenuate the force of the speech acts and (2) express levels of uncertainty towards the propositions in the utterances.

According to Lakoff (as cited in Dwi Hardjanto T, 2016) says that hedge are words whose meaning involves fuzziness—words whose job is to make things fuzzier or less fuzzy. It means that the utterances’ cautious the speaker added on headline information in do conversation.

Based on the expert above, in addition, the hedge are sentences or utterances have dubious meanings. It helps somebody when do conversation will beware or cautious about what them talk.

Miller (as cited in  Arifianto and Widyastuty, 2005) proposes the form of hedges :

  1. Modal Auxiliary Verbs

This forms may be used by the people in expressing modality or uncertainty towards something whether it is in form of written or orally spoken. As follows, may, might, should, could, would, and can are as one of expressions.

The use of modal expressions have a different in strenght. Such as the use of „must’ means that it is an obligation, and „should‟ is a desireable for an action, which means that „must‟ is stronger than „should‟. It also occured for the other expressions such as „might‟ is generally weaker than “may”, past tense somehow distancing the possibility, as well as with the other past expressions such as, „would‟ or „could‟.

  1. Modal lexical verbs

Modal lexical verb (or so called “speech act verb” used to perform act such as doubting and evaluating rather than they merely describing) of varying degree of illocutionary force: to seem, to appear (epistemic verbs), to believe, to assume, to suggest, to estimate, to tend, to think, to argue, to indicate, to propose, to speculate.

  1. Adjectival, adverbial, and nominal modal phrases

These forms of hedges include probability adjectives: e.g., possible, probable, un/likely, nouns: e.g., assumption, claim, possibility, estimate, suggestion, and adverbs (which could be considered as non-verbal nouns): e.g., perhaps, possibly, probably, practically, likely, presumably, virtually, apparently.

  1. Aproximators of degree, quantity, frequency and time

This can be realized through for example: approximately, roughly, about, often, occasionally, generally, usually, somewhat, somehow, a lot of.

  1. Introductory phrases

Introductory phrases can be realized through phrases such as: I believe, to our knowledge, it is our view that, we feel that, which express the author’s personal doubt and direct involvement.

  1. “If clauses”

This is usually used by the people in the following phrases: if true, if anything.

  1. Compound hedges

Here, A modal auxiliary combined with a lexical verb with a hedging content and a lexical verb followed by a hedging adverb or adjective where the adverb (or adjective) reinforces the hedge already inherent in the lexical verb (e.g., it seems reasonable/probable). Such compound hedges can be double hedges (it may suggest that; it seems likely that; it would indicate that; this probably indicates); treble hedges (it seem reasonable to assume that); quadruple hedges (it would seem somewhat unlikely that, it may appear somewhat speculative that), and so on.

  1. Previous Study

There are some researcher as related with this research. First, a research done by Virly Kinasih with the title “Analysis of the flouting maxims in the movie “The Art of Getting By”. The researcher used a qualitative method which means the writer would like to collect a qualitative data and interprets data qualitatively. To support the research, the writer would like to conduct a library research, use different types of references such as books, journal articles, encyclopedia, etc. Information through an internet is also conducted to retrieve the relevant articles or references. The data from this paper is taken from DVD by listening the conversations of the main characters and in addition also reading the subtitle. The data would like to be analyzed by the theory of the flouting maxims based on Grice’s Cooperative Principle.

Second, a research done by Wasan Khalid Ahmed with the title “Using Hedges as Relational Work by Arab EFL Students in Student- Supervisor Consultations”. This study used a descriptive pragmatic analysis approach to explain the use of hedges as expressions of relational work in the interaction between Arab EFL students and their supervisors. In collecting data from 8 subjects in this study was relatively huge as the female subjects produced 390 turns and the male students produced 364 turns when talking to their supervisors, which were enough to reach the saturation point and achieve the aims of the study.

There are two instruments in this research. The first instrument was one-to-one student-supervisor consultations were audio recorded, transcribed, and keyed in into an Excel workbook to prepare for the analysis. This instrument was used to answer the first research question. The second instruments used in this study was a two-part pragmatic awareness questionnaire. It was developed by the researchers by taking excerpts from the students’ actual use of hedges. The result in this research, the majority of students think that using hedges while speaking to their supervisors is considered a non-polite appropriate politic behavior in such a social context. In this case, hedges are not used by students to show politeness for the sake of politeness, but simply to communicate their ideas and opinions in appropriate ways that is accepted by the supervisor.

  1. Conceptual Framework

Conceptual framework is a tool which is used by researcher to guide data collection and analysis. In this research, the researcher will analyze which types of maxims are flouted or hedged by the character. Therefore, the conceptual framework of this research can be seen as follow :





Conceptual Framework

Deepwater Horizon movie


The script



Flouting and hedging


  1. Flouting quantity/ quality/ relevance/ manner.
  2. Hedging : Modal Auxiliary Verbs/ lexical Verbs/ Adjectival/ adverbial/ and nominal modal phrases/ Aproximators of degree/ quantity, frequency and time/ Introductory phrases/ if clause/ and compound hedges.








In the script  there are some aspect that must pay attention by the researcher, such as flouting and hedging maxims. Based on the script we must know about the pragmatics because in this research discuss about flouting and hedging maxims. Those will be discussed in this research, there are Flouting quantity/ quality/ relevance/ manner/ modal auxiliary verbs/ lexical verbs/ adjectival/ adverbial/ and nominal modal phrases/ aproximators of degree/ quantity, frequency and time/ Introductory phrases/ if clause/ and compound hedges. All of those have have different function that must be understood.

In this research, the research used the script analysis to find out which types of maxims are flouted or hedged. After that, the researcher will find know the types used of maxims flouted or hedged by the character.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

All Tags

Content relating to: "Film Studies"

Film Studies is a field of study that consists of analysing and discussing film, as well as exploring the world of film production. Film Studies allows you to develop a greater understanding of film production and how film relates to culture and history.

Related Articles

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this dissertation and no longer wish to have your work published on the UKDiss.com website then please: