Understanding politeness through a sequence: the case of an interview
This project seeks to suggest the chronological order of linguist Geoffrey Leech’s maxims of politeness in an excerpt of an interview session from popular local talk show Jeff Koinange Live (JKL). It proposes that through this order politeness is applied in a guided manner enabling efficient communication between speakers and receivers. Its main argument is that different discourse texts assume different ordering. The research design is descriptive and purposive sampling was used to identify the interview session to work with. The research instrument was observation; the researcher observed the relationship between the interlocutors, obtained this as data and analyzed it. The research tested three hypotheses including that the politeness maxims are discernible in the discourse of the interview session; the maxims map accurately how politeness is dispensed within such a session and that a clear pattern and ordering emerges in the discourse text of the interview session. Results found all three to be true. More specifically, it suggested the order of the maxims in the session to be as follows: tact, approbation, agreement, modesty, generosity and lastly sympathy. From this it went on to generalize that for interview discourse the use of tact , the ability to approbate and concord are prime while the maxim of sympathy is least dominant perhaps because it is not called for in every interview; it is very context specific.