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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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Impoliteness and emotional arguments

Manfred Kienpointner
Published Online: 2008-08-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JPLR.2008.012


After a few introductory remarks on recent impoliteness research, a preliminary definition of impoliteness/rudeness is given. Then the important role emotions play in relation to (im)politeness is briefly sketched, followed by descriptions of some connections between emotional arguments, fallacies and impoliteness. Emotional arguments need not be fallacious nor are they always formulated in impolite ways. However, certain fallacious subtypes of emotional arguments involving appeals to negative emotions tend to be formulated in an impolite way. Such arguments are called “destructive arguments” in this paper.

A few case studies of spoken and written passages of argumentative discourse are used to support the hypothesis that certain subtypes of emotional arguments are likely to be destructive. It is also shown, however, that sometimes even fallacious arguments involving positive emotions, such as pity, can be formulated in an impolite way. Finally, it is demonstrated that in certain exceptional cases even rude and fallacious arguments are not (totally) destructive because they ultimately serve some vital interests of the opponent.

Keywords:: impoliteness; emotions; fallacies; emotional arguments; destructive arguments

About the article

Published Online: 2008-08-05

Published in Print: 2008-07-01

Citation Information: Journal of Politeness Research. Language, Behaviour, Culture, Volume 4, Issue 2, Pages 243–265, ISSN (Online) 1613-4877, ISSN (Print) 1612-5681, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JPLR.2008.012.

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