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Chapter 12: “He offered an apologetic smile”: The politeness of apologetic gestures


Jucker, Andreas H (2023). Chapter 12: “He offered an apologetic smile”: The politeness of apologetic gestures. In: Jucker, Andreas H; Hübscher, Iris; Brown, Lucien. Multimodal Im/politeness: Signed, spoken, written. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 327-351.

Abstract

This contribution focuses on the multimodal aspects of apologies. In terms of politeness and face management, apologies are ambivalent. They are redressive and indicate a concern for the hearer, but they also include a certain amount of self-blame and thus threaten the speaker’s own positive face. Narrative descriptions of apologetic gestures were retrieved from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) through the collocation profiles of apology expressions. Such gestures may occur in isolation without a spoken apology, or they may occur together with a more or less explicit apology. In many cases, the apologetic gesture helps to discursively negotiate the severity of an event that may have been perceived as an offence and the speaker’s responsibility for it.

Abstract

This contribution focuses on the multimodal aspects of apologies. In terms of politeness and face management, apologies are ambivalent. They are redressive and indicate a concern for the hearer, but they also include a certain amount of self-blame and thus threaten the speaker’s own positive face. Narrative descriptions of apologetic gestures were retrieved from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) through the collocation profiles of apology expressions. Such gestures may occur in isolation without a spoken apology, or they may occur together with a more or less explicit apology. In many cases, the apologetic gesture helps to discursively negotiate the severity of an event that may have been perceived as an offence and the speaker’s responsibility for it.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
08 Research Priority Programs > Language and Space
06 Faculty of Arts > Zurich Center for Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:15 February 2023
Deposited On:27 Feb 2023 14:23
Last Modified:03 Jan 2024 15:02
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
Series Name:Pragmatics and Beyond New Series
Number:333
ISSN:0922-842X
ISBN:9789027213433
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.333.12juc
Official URL:https://benjamins.com/catalog/pbns.333.12juc
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English