Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
Over the last three decades, politeness has become one of the central discussions in pragmatic and sociolinguistic researches. A large number of theoretical, empirical books and articles about linguistic politeness that have been published, shows that politeness has become one of the most active areas of research in language use.
Although the interest of politeness in both social and linguistic phenomenon significantly increased, many recent studies choose to drawn on conversational data, it was surprised that is only small numbers of scholars focused to study politeness in written text such as scientific written text rather than on conversational data recently.
Even though the main stream of linguistic politeness is generally associated with social behaviour as strategic conflict avoidance, and the major concept of politeness theory is an arrangement of politeness strategies along a continuum from least polite to most polite, also allows them to engage in conflict-free communication, and it usually found in the study of conversational using speaker-hearer model of interactions. Many scholars do not realize that this politeness model also can be extended to other medium not only through verbal communication but also in a written material in terms of the interactions of the or authors and audiences in scientific texts.
Furthermore, the advances of politeness models to some genres of scientific written texts is somehow interesting and in the other hand complex field to study. Greg Myers (1989) in his study found that the model proposed by Brown and Levinson was very useful to explain how he interpret some construction of the norm of scientific culture found in writing, particularly academic writing.
Brown and Levinson (1978/1987) present their study as part of the linguistic project of showing universals in language usage; the striking parallels in politeness devices between three unrelated languages shows that while the expressions of politeness may vary enormously from one culture to another, and the basic hierarchy of politeness strategies is not a culture specific.
Brown and Levinsons (1987: 58) constructed a system in which a model person is endowed with negative and positive face; roughly the want to be unimpeded and the want to be approved of in certain respects. The model person also has a rational faculty for choosing the course of action that will give the highest pay-off with the least loss of face, evaluating three variables; the social distances (D); the relative difference in power between the speaker and hearer (P); the rank of imposition (R). These three basic variables seem still affective to help understanding the interactions of politeness between writers and readers in written text. Brown and Levinsons (BL) theory has been extensively used and also criticised. Although most of the scholars that studied politeness are agree that specific factors like power, social distance or status, influence the adoption of strategies, it is still difficult to provide definite conclusions.
Moreover, by using Myers “room of thinking” above that linked to what Brown and Levinson had proposed in their study, this research tries to focus on the politeness strategies employed by the economists’ authors in academic journals, by concerning that at this time academic journals had reached a fabulous numbers both digital and printing material and also become a major references by scholars all over the world. On the other hand, the scholars that deeply focused to study the academic journals in the pragmatics or discourse analysis area says; politeness it’s still rare.
By viewing that chances the researcher hopes that this study is able to contribute to the existing pool of knowledge on politeness strategies used in academic writing, particularly which in the writing of economic journal articles of two identified economic journals.
1.1 Statements of the Problem
Started in the early 1950’s, Schuler studied about the politeness in Germany and Goffman studied on “face work” in 1955. Nowadays, the study about politeness has become one of the major areas of pragmatics or sociolinguistics. Classical theories of linguistic politeness clarifies such as Lakoff (1973, 1977), Brown and Levinson (1987), Leech (1983) agree that linguistic politeness can be used as a strategic conflict avoidance.
Linguistic politeness not only was applied by many people via verbal communication but also through the medium of written material both in academic or non academic fields, politeness persuasion in journal writing as a genre in academic writing somehow in line with the demands of the academic community that expects scientific language to be objective and formal. Further, the use of politeness persuasion or strategies in journal issues by particular people from different culture background, age and economic basic education is interesting field to discuss.
Based on that statement above the main purposes of this study beyond the limits of this paper, to give an exhaustive overview of politeness-related research are to identify sort of politeness strategies employed by economist authors and analyze the politeness kinds of strategies in economic journal articles both local and international economic journal.
1.2 Objective of the Study
In recent years there has been a steady increase in interest and research into economics discourse by both economists and linguists which has spawned an expanding body of work. The nature of this work in part reflects not only the varied academic backgrounds of the writers, but also the evolutionary development of linguistics in general and its sub-discipline of discourse analysis in particular. This body of work is not only in hope succeeding clarify many of the ways that economists use language to express themselves in polite way, but also can be use to help the public to understand the politeness style of writing from the economist in the scientific text.
Furthermore based on the explanation above, this present study tried focused in identify politeness strategies employed by authors of economic journal communities both local and international economic journals, by proposing the objectives below;
- To investigate how economists use language to present findings in polite way
- To investigates the use of politeness strategies in economics text
- To compare the use of politeness strategies in a local and international economic journals
1.3 Research Question
Brown and Levinson (1987) have developed a theory of politeness to explain the nature of politeness phenomena in language. Through this exploratory study, the researcher will focus on the existence of linguistic politeness in economic articles. For this purpose the researcher study the selected local and international economic journals. The researcher focused on specific areas in these journals that the researcher feels exemplifies the existence of politeness strategies.
Based on the explanation above, the present study aims to answer the following question:
- What kinds of politeness strategies are employed by authors in local and international economic journal articles?
- In what ways are local and international journals similar or different in the use of politeness strategies?
1.4 Significance of the study
Politeness has become one of the fields of research to which more attention has been devoted in the last two decades. The connections of politeness studies with other domains, such as sociolinguistics, socio pragmatics, ethnography of communication, second language teaching/acquisition or conversational analysis, have definitely contributed to this growing interest and its exploratory study, the researcher choose to focus on the existence of politeness strategies n economic journals.
Since the early 1980s, the discussion of various controversial issues in the economics discourse community has led to increasing debate among concerned economists about the ways that they communicate with each other, as well as with non-economists.
Royce (1995) in his paper mentions that; Although economics is considered to be a science and its language is often close to scientific language, within evidence the texts are often complemented by graphs. The influence of literary discourse is predominant.
In 1986, Donald McCloskey published The Rhetoric of Economics and republished in 1998. McCloskey considers economic discourse as “a language comprised of tropes; a word or phrase used in a sense not proper to it, tales and other rhetorical devices that are literary and rhetorical or persuasive rather than scientific or natural”.
The specific aim of this research also to show that was an increasing awareness of the nature of economics discourse by both applied linguists and economists, For the purposes above, the research studies one locally and one international economic journal, published by economic associations from Malaysia and USA. This research try not to deeply focus on particular specific area what economist and linguist arguing about, but more on general issues of economic that become content respectively in these journals, that researcher feels exemplifies the existence of politeness strategies.
1.5 Scope and Limitation of The Study
This present study will limit its data from selected journals released by economic associations from local and international to find out politeness strategies employed by the economists in two identified Economic journals, namely, Malaysia Journal of Economic Studies and the Journal of Economic Growth released by Malaysian Economic association and American economic association respectively.
The corpus from those journal were chosen from the five year latest issues, start from 2004 until 2008 whereas this present study start it work. Here the study also limits its scope only on the content of the articles. The areas of Mathematical language, formula as well as footnote in the articles will be not included to analyze in this present study.
1.5 Theoretical Framework
The present section presents the theoretical framework of the present study. Brown and Levinson (1987) have developed a theory of politeness to explain the nature of politeness phenomena in language. According to them, it is possible to define generic types of politeness strategies to explain and predict the adoption of politeness in oral or written discourse.
Since the present study tries to focuses on the analyzing a politeness in written material that is academic journal both from local or international well known economic journals. The writer tries to use a formula that construct by Greg Myers (1989) in his articles “The Pragmatic Of Politeness In Scientific Articles” in line with what Brown and Levinson (1987) proposed in their book “Politeness; Some Universal in language Usage’ as underlying theoretical structure.
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