» Details

Historical (Im)politeness

Culpeper, Jonathan / Kádár, Dániel Z. (eds)

Historical (Im)politeness

Series: Linguistic Insights - Volume 65

Year of Publication: 2010

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 300 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03911-496-2 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.440 kg, 0.970 lbs

available Softcover
available PDF
  • Softcover:
  • SFR 90.00
  • €* 80.30
  • €** 82.50
  • € 75.00
  • £ 60.00
  • US$ 97.95
  • Softcover
  • eBook:
  • SFR 94.85
  • €* 89.25
  • €** 90.00
  • 75.00
  • £ 60.00
  • US$ 97.95

» Currency of invoice * includes VAT – valid for Germany and EU customers without VAT Reg No
** includes VAT – only valid for Austria

Note for the purchase of eBooks

Due to new international tax regulations, Peter Lang will offer its eBooks to private customers exclusively through the following platforms:

Apple Inc.

Institutional customers such as libraries and library suppliers are requested to direct their queries concerning the acquisition of eBooks at customerservice@peterlang.com

Peter Lang eBooks are also available through the following library aggregators:

EBL EBook Library
EBSCO Publishing
Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
Dawson Books
Gardners Books
Elsevier B.V.


Book synopsis

This edited collection investigates historical linguistic politeness and impoliteness. Although some research has been undertaken uniting politeness and historical pragmatics, it has been sporadic at best, and often limited to traditional theoretical approaches. This is a strange state of affairs, because politeness plays a central role in the social dynamics of language. This collection, containing contributions from renowned experts, aims to fill this hiatus, bringing together cutting-edge research. Not only does it illuminate the language usage of earlier periods, but by examining the past it places politeness today in context. Such a diachronic perspective also affords a further test-bed for current models of politeness. This volume provides insights into historical aspects of language, particularly items regularly deployed for politeness functions, and the social, particularly interpersonal, contexts with which it interacts. It also sheds light on how (social) meanings are dynamically constructed in situ, and probes various theoretical aspects of politeness. Its papers deploy a range of multilingual (e.g. English, Spanish, Italian and Chinese) diachronic data drawn from different genres such as letters, dramas, witch trials and manners books.


Contents: Dániel Z. Kádár/Jonathan Culpeper: Historical (Im)politeness: An Introduction – Marcel Bax: Epistolary Presentation Rituals. Face-work, Politeness and Ritual Display in Early Modern Dutch Letter-Writing – Susan Fitzmaurice: Changes in the Meanings of politeness in Eighteenth-century England: Discourse Analysis and Historical Evidence – Dániel Z. Kádár: Exploring the Historical Chinese Polite Denigration/Elevation Phenomenon – Minna Nevala: Keeping Up Appearances. Facework in Self- and Addressee-Oriented Person Reference – Andreas H. Jucker: «In curteisie was set ful muchel hir lest». Politeness in Middle English – Annick Paternoster: Politeness and Style in The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi, 1840), An Italian Novel by Alessandro Manzoni – Jeremy King: The Role of Power and Solidarity in Politeness Theory: The Case of Golden Age Spanish – Jim O’Driscoll: Epilogue.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editors: Jonathan Culpeper is a senior lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, UK. His work spans pragmatics, stylistics and the history of English, and his major publications include History of English (2nd edition, 2005), Cognitive Stylistics (2002, edited with Elena Semino), Exploring the Language of Drama (1998, edited with Mick Short and Peter Verdonk) and Language and Characterisation in Plays and Other Texts (2001). He is currently working on a three-year research project on the topic of impoliteness.
Dániel Z. Kádár is a research fellow in the Department of Oriental Studies at Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has been carrying out research into East Asian (im)politeness, discourse analysis, historical pragmatics and letter writing. His major publications include Terms of (Im)Politeness (2007), It’s the Dragon’s Turn (2008, edited with Hao Sun), Historical Chinese Letter Writing (2009), Politeness in East Asia (2010, edited with Sara Mills), Politeness in Historical and Contemporary Chinese (2010, co-authored with Yuling Pan) and Politeness across Cultures (2010, edited with Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini).


«‘Historical (Im)politeness’ will be a valuable resource for students and researchers in pragmatics, accessible to scholars already working on historical politeness and to those who wish to learn more about this lesser known discipline. Each author painstakingly sets the scene for the analysis of his or her corpus with a careful review of other sources, both modern ones as well as some that were concurrent with the works examined. In addition, editors Culpeper and Kádár call for researchers to create new approaches to politeness or to develop existing theories, and the papers in this volume attest to the authors’ success in meeting that challenge.» (Laura Callahan, The Linguist List)
«It is one of the strengths of this volume that the authors refrain from generalising statements in order to give credit to the situated practices that they study. In this way they acknowledge that the texts are historically removed as well as culturally embedded and the cultural situatedness of the practices discussed is thus nicely highlighted. Furthermore, it is refreshing that the chapters present work on different languages (...). This breadth allows the reader to appreciate the complexity of how relational effects are created through language use. [...] This collection continues the general tendency of opening the scope of research on politeness phenomena to research that includes impoliteness. It is up to date with respect to the current discussions in politeness research which centre around emic and etic distinctions and the problem of judging relational work. It is thus relevant for all researchers interested in interpersonal pragmatics - no matter whether they work with historical or present-day data.» (Miriam A. Locher, Journal of Historical Pragmatics)


Linguistic Insights. Studies in Language and Communication. Vol. 65
Edited by Maurizio Gotti