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Journal of Politeness Research

Language, Behaviour, Culture

Ed. by Grainger, Karen

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.652
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.667

CiteScore 2018: 1.24

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.785
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.150

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The lexical mapping of politeness in British English and Japanese

Barbara Pizziconi
Published Online: 2007-07-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/PR.2007.010


This paper proposes the study of British English and Japanese conceptualizations of politeness by means of a measurement of the semantic domains which arguably constrain the expressive choices of speakers of these languages. Such measurement involves eliciting native speakers' similarity judgements of pairs of lexical items (metapragmatic judgements of attitudes and behaviours such as ‘polite’, ‘kind’ or ‘considerate’), mapping them onto bi-dimensional spaces, and interpreting the nature of the two principal dimensions held to contribute to the distribution of the items. These findings are compared with the results of previous works on this topic. Moreover, the paper discusses issues of methodology in the treatment of data relevant to analyses that attempt to link linguistic and cultural facts, and individual and cultural representations.

Keywords: cultural universals; relativity; Japanese; British English; semantic structure; multidimensional scaling

About the article

Barbara Pizziconi

Barbara Pizziconi is a lecturer in Japanese Applied Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her research focuses on Japanese linguistic politeness, Japanese language acquisition and language pedagogy, pragmatic and socio-cultural aspects of language use and language learning.

Published Online: 2007-07-31

Published in Print: 2007-07-20

Citation Information: Journal of Politeness Research. Language, Behaviour, Culture, Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 207–241, ISSN (Online) 1613-4877, ISSN (Print) 1612-5681, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/PR.2007.010.

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