LINGUIST List 5.1035

Fri 23 Sep 1994

Misc: Politeness in CMC, Multilateral comparison

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  1. "Ronald Lee Stone", politeness in CMC
  2. , Multilateral comparison

Message 1: politeness in CMC

Date: Thu, 22 Sep 94 23:00:12 -0politeness in CMC
From: "Ronald Lee Stone" <>
Subject: politeness in CMC

I recently examined politeness in some TECHWR-L
list (technical communication topics) discussions.
Here are the results:

Title: Patterns of Politeness in
 Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)

Abstract: A discourse analysis of computer-mediated
communication (CMC) revealed the use of strategies
outlined by the Brown and Levinson politeness model.
The CMC situation warranted further development of
certain assumptions formulated for politeness in
spoken and written discourse. The analysis supports
the modification of these assumptions, and the model
identifies politeness patterns in CMC. Politeness was
determined to be an important socio-rhetorical
language-use need. The use of various politeness
patterns were found to be significant in creating
the socio-rhetorical stature of participants among
the list community. In addition, the significance of
the use of politeness strategies was found to correspond
to its relation to an exigency. Literature on CMC,
persona, speech act theory, politeness, and rhetorical
exigence were reviewed in preparation for examining
the role of the speech acts of insulting and
complimenting in a computer-mediated discussion.

Until later,


Ronald L. Stone : : (612) 644-9706
 graduate student : Scientific & Technical Communication
 Department of Rhetoric : University of Minnesota, St. Paul
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Message 2: Multilateral comparison

Date: Sat, 17 Sep 94 23:09:23 EDMultilateral comparison
From: <>
Subject: Multilateral comparison

It was good to hear from Matthew Dryer about the history of
bilateral comparisons in Amerindian linguistics (something
I should have thought of but did not), but I am puzzled by
by Matthews' statement that "few if any of Greenberg's detractors
today would argue with Greenberg's point about binary comparison",
since Donald Ringe in his 1992 book decries multilateral
comparison on principle (and what is equally important) many
of Greenberg's critics seem to simply not address this very
significant issue. I don't understand why people do not openly
applaud Greenberg for at least being right on this point, but
I don't think that many people are.

Alexis Manaster Ramer
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