Exploring politeness in ancient languages

Kim Ridealgh (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Languages from the ancient world offer a unique opportunity to test and challenge politeness frameworks, especially those such as Brown and Levinson’s, which claim to be universal. Scholars working on languages from the ancient world are relative new comers to politeness research, and, as such, are still assessing the suitability of such frameworks on dead languages. This collection of papers, written by members of the Historical Politeness Network, represents scholarly experimentation with politeness frameworks and discussions of the limitations of these frameworks beyond the modern languages they have previously been applied to. Limited data sets, restriction to written texts, and an imperfect understanding of wider social context, all present challenges to the socio-analysis of ancient texts, often resulting in an incomplete picture of social actions. Hence, it is not always possible to straight forwardly apply politeness frameworks directly onto a dead language. As such, the papers included in this collection demonstrate how scholars are experimenting with politeness frameworks, assessing suitability or limitations, and how new theoretical approaches to ‘politeness’ can be determined. Together these papers represent an important contribution to politeness research challenging and supporting current ideologies of politeness research.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameJournal of Historical Pragmatics

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