CategoryDiscourse and Pragmatics

Conversational Principles: Politeness


Like the cooperative principle, the politeness principle also may be divided into a series of maxims Robin Lakoff (1973) formulated these maxims as: – don’t impose – give options – make your receiver feel good these maxims explain – utterances in which no new information is communicated e.g. ‘I am sorry. I was waiting for you …’ ‘I am sorry to...

Cooperative Principle


As proposed by the philosopher Paul Grice, conversation is effective because speakers conform to the cooperative principle which he articulated as follows: Make your conversational contributions 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 This agreement of cooperation can be divided into four maxims or...

Speech Act & Speech Act Theory


Look carefully at the following utterances … – Policeman: you are under arrest – Referee: (pointing to the penalty spot) penalty! – Boss: your services are no longer required The philosopher J.L Austin (1911 – 1960) claims that utterances such as the ones above are equivalent to actions -  i.e a new reality (social/psychological) is created when they are uttered...