A pragmatic analysis of impoliteness forms and strategies in Ekegusii arbitration discourse
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Politeness is a pragmatic concept that assumes mutually cooperative behavior considerateness for others and polished behavior in verbal interactions. Politeness guards against harming the hearer and speaker’s self-esteem (face) during conversation. However, some speakers may intentionally attack the target’s face by being impolite. The purpose of this study was to analyze the linguistic impoliteness forms and strategies employed in Ekegusii arbitration discourse as a cause of discontentment with the verdicts reached during arbitration. The objectives of this study were to analyze the impoliteness forms and strategies that Ekegusii interlocutors employ during arbitration discourse, establish how social power and social distance between interlocutors determines the impolite choices they make and determine the role of pragmatic features in the impolite linguistic choices made by interlocutors. The study adopted a descriptive research design and was guided by The Theory of Impoliteness by Jonathan Culpeper. Data was collected through tape recording of actual arbitration conversations and semi-structured oral interviews. The study population constituted the 10 arbitration sessions held. The sample population constituted the actual words and utterances spoken during arbitration conversations. 62Utterances that communicated impoliteness were purposively sampled from the recorded data for analysis. The study was carried out in Bonchari Constituency in Kisii County in Kenya. Data was analyzed both qualitatively . The findings of this study revealed that most arbitrators attacked the face of those whose cases they arbitrated over. Impoliteness may lead to arbitration, The face attacks often led to discontentment with the verdicts rendered by the arbitrators. The findings of this study will contribute to research in pragmatics in the field of impoliteness and specifically in studying impoliteness in Ekegusii as one of the languages of the world consequently enriching research on etiquette and communicative competence. Findings of this study, if availed to arbitrators, may enlighten and even render them better users of language in arbitration.
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