* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *

LINGUIST List 23.4102

Wed Oct 03 2012

Calls: Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics/India

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

Date: 02-Oct-2012
From: Michael Haugh <m.haughgriffith.edu.au>
Subject: (Im)politeness and Mixed Messages
E-mail this message to a friend

Full Title: (Im)politeness and Mixed Messages

Date: 08-Sep-2013 - 13-Sep-2013
Location: New Delhi, India
Contact Person: Michael Haugh
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 24-Oct-2012

Meeting Description:

While it was noted in early work theorising politeness that seemingly impolite acts or forms can be means of showing friendliness or solidarity, and that ostensibly polite acts or forms can be a cover for coercion or aggression (Leech 1983), most research to date has focused on more straightforward instances of politeness, and more recently, impoliteness. Yet it is becoming increasingly clear that a notable proportion of interpersonal work does not in fact straightforwardly fit under the scope of politeness or impoliteness. Instead, interpersonal interactions can also involve mixed messages, that is, where features that point towards a polite interpretation are mixed with features that point towards an impolite interpretation (Culpeper 2011; see also Rockwell 2006). Mixed messages are often defined in social psychology as instances where two or more modes of communication (e.g. what is said versus tone of voice) are in conflict. However, in this panel mixed messages are understood more broadly to encompass instances where there are multiple interpretations of interpersonal meanings, actions or attitudes/evaluations in interaction that are ostensibly incongruous or generate a sense of interpretive dissonance in some way. Such phenomena can be analysed as social actions or practices, such as banter, teasing, jocular mockery, jocular abuse, ritual insults, sarcasm and the like, or as interpersonal evaluations, such as mock impoliteness, mock politeness, insincere or manipulative politeness, pushy politeness, under politeness, over politeness and so on (Haugh and Bousfield 2012; Kádár and Haugh forthcoming). These mixed interpersonal messages can have numerous functions, including to reinforce solidarity, cloak coercion or oppressive intent, mask and thereby make more palatable 'true' feelings, and even for amusement and entertainment (Culpeper 2011); and they can be oriented to building, maintaining and even challenging both identities and interpersonal relationships in discourse and interaction. The aim of this panel is to explore the ways in which such mixed interpersonal messages are generated and understood in and across various interpersonal and institutional settings in different languages and cultures. We welcome a variety of analytical and methodological approaches that address such issues in a range of languages and settings.


Culpeper, Jonathan. 2011. Impoliteness: Using Language to Cause Offence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Haugh, Michael, and Bousfield, Derek. 2012. Mock impoliteness, jocular mockery and jocular abuse in Australian and British English. Journal of Pragmatics 44:1099-1114.
Kádár, Dániel, and Haugh, Michael. Forthcoming. Understanding Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leech, Geoffrey. 1983. Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman.
Rockwell, Patricia (2006) Sarcasm and Other Mixed Messages: The Ambiguous Ways People Use Language. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press.

Call for Papers:

Submissions are invited for abstracts for presentations in the '(Im)politeness and Mixed Messages' panel at the International Pragmatics Association Conference. Presentations will be up to 20 minutes with both individual question periods for each paper as well as a discussion of issues in (im)politeness research more generally.

Abstract length: up to approximately 500 words (equivalent to max. one average A4 or Standard-size page, single spacing, Times pt 12)
Due date: 24 October, by email to m.haughgriffith.edu.au

You will be notified of acceptance within five days. Accepted authors will then need to submit the same abstract to the general IPrA site themselves by November 1, 2012, which will also require IPrA membership.

Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Page Updated: 03-Oct-2012

Supported in part by the National Science Foundation       About LINGUIST    |   Contact Us       ILIT Logo
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.