Stadt: Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

Frist: 2018-09-23

Beginn: 2019-06-09

Ende: 2019-06-14


Panel accepted for the 2019 Ipra Conference Hongkong, 9-14th of June 2019.
Gudrun HELD (Salzburg) / Annick PATERNOSTER (Lugano) / Daniel Kadár (Budapest)

Although politeness theories – applied to all kinds of cultures, languages and communication events all over the world – are more than ever in the focus of pragmatics, Europe, as a historically grown cultural community in a loose geographic area, however, is still getting comparatively marginal attention, whilst English is overrepresented. Though the volume Politeness in Europe (2005) set an important research agenda, it mainly neglected the historical point of view. The panel invites further investigations of the European tradition from Antiquity to dynamically trace common cultural roots and their development over time, through language use and metalanguage, whilst keeping in mind that politeness is a strictly relative concept, and at the same time dependent on situated external and internal factors, which are constantly varying and changing.

In the light of the theoretical key-concepts (claimed in Kadár/Haugh 2013:159ff.) of comparability and representation, transformation and continuity, the panel challenges new insights into ‘European politeness’ at the macro-, the meso- and the micro-pragmatic level, going beyond lingua-cultural — and national — boundaries. We ask special attention for the shared socio-cultural development in relevant periods of time, the mutual cultural contact and exchange by areal proximities as well as dominant ideological and sociopolitical influences, the foundation, reification, change and irradiation of a European human ethos, as reflected in both the ongoing social interaction and the evaluative comments drawing on the expected or neglected social behaviour.

More specifically, for Europe (understood as a geographic area including also Russia and Turkey), the panel wants to promote interest into periodization issues, and into factors for change ranging from ideological, political, social, economic, to mediatic and their influence on conventions, rituals and values. Topic of interest include but are not limited to: egocentric vs sociocentric values, philosophy, Christianity, deference, feudalism, absolutism, emancipation, class mobility, rise of middle classes, decline/resilience of aristocracy, urbanization, industrial revolution, population increase, the nuclear family, and so on.)

In terms of sources and methods, in front of the difficult data situation we see metapragmatic (metalinguistic, metacommunicative, metadiscursive and metacognitive) approaches as a key area offering a methodologically sound access. We welcome qualitative approaches aiming at identifying ‘European’ human qualities that go beyond the relativity of historical politeness and quantitative methods to provide evidence for recurrent schematic practices and their conventionalization from a diachronic perspective. Whether within a social semantic, discourse analytical or a genre- or frame-based perspective, we ask attention for lexical items and labels, routine formula and other questions of lexico-grammar as well as speech-acts, conversation patterns, discourse traditions and any other kind of communicative events.

We hope to assemble researchers with a wide range of approaches, in order to foster insight in the convergent or divergent social practices of a shared European human ethos.

You find the official call on the website: Click on ‘Conferences’, then ‘call for papers’ (The panel is nr. 41 on the list of the accepted panels).

If you want to attend – and we hope you will! -, please send a short abstract (about 250 – 500 words with name, title and affiliation) to our e-mail within the 23rd of September 2018. We then will immediately inform you what is exactly to do for putting your proposal into the IPRA-online-system where the deadline for submission is the 15th of October.

Hickey, Leo/ Stuart, Miranda (eds.), Politeness in Europe. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters 2005 (Paperback).
Kadár, Daniel/ Haugh, Michael: Understanding politeness. Cambridge, CUP 2013.