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Implying an impolite belief: A case of tikkeh in Persian

Tahmineh Tayebi
From the journal Intercultural Pragmatics

Abstract

The focus of this study is on a particular type of implied impoliteness in Persian commonly known as tikkeh. Given the lack of critical attention paid to the notion of implied impoliteness in the literature, the present study seeks to explore this issue further by addressing the following questions: (i) What is implied impoliteness? (ii) What are the properties which make it different from other types of conventionalized impoliteness? (iii) For whom is it offensive? And finally (iv) how does one evaluate an implied meaning as offensive? It will be argued that, in the right context, any utterance can potentially be evaluated as a tikkeh which can convey a negative impolite belief about the ratified and/or unratified hearer(s). In this respect, examples from both dyadic and polylogal interactions are provided. Along the way, the influence of relational histories as well as interpersonal expectations are also discussed.

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to Prof. Istvan Kecskes and two anonymous referees for their insightful comments and suggestions on an earlier version of this paper. I am also thankful to Dr. Vahid Parvaresh whose insight and expertise greatly improved the paper. The usual disclaimer applies.

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Published Online: 2018-3-1
Published in Print: 2018-2-23

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