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AS Level English
Language Theorists…read more

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Grice's Maxims
· Grice had four maxims that relate to the conversation ­ how it is working.
· Relevance ­ Staying on topic with the conversation rather than straying to
something unimportant.
· Quantity ­ Where the speaker tries to be as informative as they can
without dominating the conversation
· Quality ­ The speaker stays truthful rather than speaking about
something they nothing about.
· Manner ­ The speak tries to be as clear and brief as possible to allow the
other to talk.…read more

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Howard Giles
· The communication accommodation theory of Howard Giles stated
that people change their speech to accommodate to others. They
can do this in two ways. Firstly, by convergence where they change
their speech to resemble the listener. This could be upward
(changing to a more RP accent) or downward convergence.
· Divergence is another way accommodation is done and this is
where the speaker accentuates the linguistic differences between
themselves and the listener ­ pretty much the opposite of
convergence.…read more

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Robin Lakoff
· Robin Lakoff came up with the politeness principle which concerns
positive and negative politeness. Lakoff maintained that speaker usually
try to follow three rules when talking to others. They were:
· Don't impose
· Give options
· Make receiver feel good
· Brown and Levinson maintained this theory and said that positive
politeness was shown when we: continued on next page…read more

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Brown and Levinson
· Positive politeness is shown when we make jokes, avoid
disagreements by choosing `safe topics' and when we assert what
we have in common.
· Negative politeness is shown when we ask indirect questions, use
hedges or defer to someone by giving a superior form of address.…read more

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· Labov looked at how different social factors effected the language
that people use ­ dialect and accent. He found that age, class and
gender all affected the way that people speak. He found that the
change was conscious some of the time and unconscious others. He
noticed how the New York Department store people changed their
language due to their prestige.…read more

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