The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.
The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin
Linguistic Politeness in Britain and Uruguay: A Contrastive Study of Requests and Apologies
Pragmatics & Beyond NS 83
The first well-researched contrastive pragmatic analysis of requests and apologies in British English and Uruguayan Spanish. It takes the form of a cross-cultural corpus-based analysis using male and female native speakers of each language and systematically alternating the same social variables in both cultures. The data are elicited from a non-prescriptive open role-play yielding requests and apologies. The analysis of the speech acts is based on an adaptation of the categorical scheme developed by Blum-Kulka et al. (1989). The results show that speakers of English and Spanish differ in their choice of (in)directness levels, head-act modifications, and the politeness types of males and females in both cultures. Reference to an extensive bibliography and the thorough discussion of methodological issues concerning speech act studies deserve the attention of students of pragmatics as well as readers interested in cultural matters.