This paper examines a range of impolite values recently developed by the Italian politeness markers per favore, per piacere, and per cortesia ‘please’ in conflictive contexts. In describing this functional development, I adopt Mazzon's (2017) definition of ‘pragmatic reversal’, i.e., a shift whereby a politeness marker is progressively used with confrontational meanings. Drawing on a corpus of online written Italian, this study analyzes the interactional contexts where politeness markers are used impolitely and suggests an explanatory path for their reversal. The corpus-based study shows that typical contexts of confrontational uses are impolite commands, prohibitions, and quotative constructions reporting a content which is harshly criticized and challenged by the writer. In the latter case, the politeness markers (usually prefaced by ma ‘but’) function as extra-clausal markers of disagreement e some also occurring as holophrastic interventions to rebut the interlocutor's argument. The idea developed in this paper is that politeness formulae are prone to pragmatic bleaching precisely in view of their routinization as ‘politic’, conventional, and neutral forms. Once partially bleached, they start acquiring new values within the realm of modulation, even e and this is the interesting fact e in the ‘opposite’ direction, as insistent reinforcement of impolite acts such as urgent pleas, rude requests, rebuttals, and even insults. This pathway of impoliteness-driven pragmatic change has also been documented for some English markers such as please, sorry and I'm afraid, which suggests the emergence of a recurrent pattern of pragmatic reversal involving equifunctional forms in different languages.
|Titolo:||A pragmatic reversal: Italian per favore ‘please’ and its variants between politeness and impoliteness|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|
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