University of Basel, English Seminar, Grosser Hörsaal, Nadelberg 6, 4051 Basel
Gastvortrag: Prof. Dr. Andreas H. Jucker
When we think of politeness in English, we tend to think of such stereotypical phrases as “I wonder if you could tell us …”, “perhaps you might like to tell me …” or “can I ask you to read …”. A lot of research has already been carried out assessing the real status of such phrases in Present-day English beyond the stereotype, but in this presentation I am interested in the history of politeness. Have such forms existed ever since the beginning of English? Quick spoiler: no, they haven’t, they are, in fact, quite recent. But if such forms are recent, how were people polite before these forms came into more widespread use? Were people polite at all? And how can we even tell what was polite or not so polite several hundred years ago? For the first 1,000 years or so of the English language, the term “polite” did not even exist.
In this lecture, I want to provide some theoretical and methodological background for the investigation of such questions, and I will provide quick snapshots across the entire history of the English language. I will look at some of the terms for appropriate and pleasing behaviour in Old English; at Chaucer’s use of the then newly imported French term courtesy in his Canterbury Tales; at Romeo and Tybalt’s use of you and thou; at the ideological importance of the term politeness in the eighteenth century; and at the rise (and fall!) of non-imposition politeness (as illustrated in the opening phrases of this abstract) in recent decades.
Jucker, Andreas H. (2020) Politeness in the History of English. From the Middle Ages to the Present Day. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
DIS-AGREE Grant: TheEuropean Campus „Seed Money“
Das geisteswissenschaftliche Projekt aus der Linguistik steht unter der Leitung der Universität Freiburg und wird gemeinsam mit den Universitäten Basel, Haute-Alsace und Strasbourg umgesetzt. Information und Kontakt
Hermann Paul Scholarship in Linguistics 2022
The Hermann Paul Scholarship in Linguistics 2022 in Basel went to Wendy Diepgrond. Congratulations!
Hermann Paul Scholarship in Linguistics 2020
The Hermann Paul Scholarship in Linguistics 2020 in Basel went to Mizuki Koda. Congratulations!
Hermann Paul Scholarship in Linguistics 2019
The Hermann Paul Scholarship in Linguistics 2019 in Basel went to Ye Ji Lee. Congratulations!
Hermann Paul Scholarship in Linguistics 2018
The Hermann Paul Scholarship in Linguistics 2018 in Basel went to Joelle Loew. Congratulations!
Hermann Paul Scholarships in Linguistics 2017
The Hermann Paul Scholarships in Linguistics 2017 in Basel went to Robert Reinecke and Valentina Saccone. Congratulations!
Hermann-Paul-Preis für herausragende Dissertationen
Der Hermann-Paul Preis 2022 ging an Aline Bieri und Florian Dreyer. Herzlichen Glückwunsch! /// The Hermann Paul Award 2022 went to Aline Bieri and Florian Dreyer. Congratulations!
Der Hermann-Paul Preis 2019 ging an Emiel van den Hoven. Herzlichen Glückwunsch! /// The Hermann Paul Award 2019 went to Emiel van den Hoven. Congratulations!
Der Hermann-Paul Preis 2018 ging an Verena Schröter und Hanna Svensson. Herzlichen Glückwunsch! /// The Hermann Paul Award 2018 went to Verena Schröter and Hanna Svensson. Congratulations!
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.