Politeness and Interaction in Ancient Greek Preventing and Avoiding Dispreferred Reactions in the Dialogues of Plato



Publicado 21-02-2022
Rodrigo Verano


Following the descriptive and methodological framework of Conversation Analysis, this paper analyzes the linguistic strategies employed in order to avoid or prevent dispreferred reactions in interaction, and examines their implications in terms of positive and negative face. It focuses especially on the treatment of possible rejections to requests and offers, and on the avoidance of direct disagreement in talk-in-interaction. This is a corpus study based on the dialogues of Plato.

Abstract 38 | PDF Downloads 50


Berger, Ł., 2016, «Introducing the First Topic Slot in Plautine Dialogues», Roczniki Humanistyczne 64 (3), 89-110.

Berger, Ł., 2018, «Negotiating the interactional meaning on the Roman stage: tokens of phaticity», en A. Gałkowski, M. Kopytowska (eds.), Current Perspectives in Semiotics. Text, Genres, and Representations, Berlin: Peter Lang, 217-237.

Berger, Ł., 2020a, «Forms of Talk in Roman Comedy. Reading Plautus and Terence with Goffman and Conversation Analysts», Dionysus Ex Machina. Rivista Annuale Online Di Studi Sul Teatro Antico 11, 137–167.

Berger, Ł., 2020b, «Turn Taking and Power Relations in Plautus’ Casina», Graeco-Latina Brunensia 25(1), 19–35.

Bousfield, D., 2008, Impoliteness and Interaction, Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Brown, P., & S. C. Levinson, 1987, Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage, Cambridge: CUP.

Burnet, J., 1900-1907, Platonis Opera, Oxford: OUP.

Clark, H. H., & S. E. Brennan, 1991, «Grounding in Communication», en L. B. Resnick, J. M. Levine, S. D. Teasley (eds.), Perspectives on Socially Shared Cognition, Washington DC: American Psychological Association, 127–149.

Culpeper, J., & D. Z. Kádár, 2010, Historical (Im)politeness, Bern: Peter Lang.

Denizot, C., 2011, Donner des ordres en grec ancien. Étude linguistique des formes de l’injonction, Rouen: Publications des universités de Rouen et du Havre.

Drew, P., 2014, «Turn Design», en J. Sidnell, T. Stivers (eds) The Handbook of Conversation Analysis. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 131–149.

Dickey, E., 2010, «Latin influence and Greek request formulae», en T. V. Evans, D. D. Obbink (eds.), The Language of the Papyri, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Drummen, A., 2016, «Conversation Analysis», en A. Bonifazi, A. Drummen, M. de Kreij (eds.), Particles in Ancient Greek Discourse: Five Volumes Exploring Particle Use across Genres, Washington DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

Hayashi, T., 1996, «Politeness in conflict management: A conversation analysis of dispreferred message from a cognitive perspective», Journal of pragmatics 25 (2), 227–255.

Kitzinger, C., 2013, «Repair», en J. Sidnell, T. Stivers (eds.), The The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 229-256.

Levinson, S. C., 2013, «Action formation and ascription», en J. Sidnell, T. Stivers (eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 103–130.

Mari, F., 2016, «The Stranger on the Threshold: Telemachus Welcomes Athena in Odyssey 1.102-143. A Case Study of Polite Interaction in Ancient Greek Culture», Journal of Politeness Research 12 (2), 221-244.

Mari, F., 2021, Le héros comme il faut. Codes de comportement et contextes sociaux dans l'épopée homérique, Paris: Éditions de Boccard.

Minchin, E., 2007, Homeric Voices: Discourse, Memory, Gender, New York-Oxford: OUP.

Pascucci, G., 1965, «Note stilistiche sull'uso del diminutivo greco», Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica XXXVII, 189-240.

Person, R,. 1995, «The ‘Became Silent to Silence’ Formula in Homer», Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 36, 327-39.

Person, R., 2017, From Conversation to Oral Tradition. A Simplest Systematics for Oral Traditions, New York: Routledge.

Poccetti, P., 2014, «Politeness/Courtesy Expressions», en G. Giannakis (ed.), Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Leiden: Brill.

Pomerantz, A., 1984, «Agreeing and disagreeing with assessments: some features of preferred/dispreferred turn shapes», en M. Atkinson, J. Heritage (eds.), Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 57–101.

Pommerantz, A., & J. Heritage 2013 «Preference», en J. Sidnell, T. Stivers (eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 210-228.

Ridealgh, K., 2016, (ed.), Case Studies in Historical Politeness (Ancient Languages) [Journal of Politeness Research 12 (2), special issue)].

Ridealgh, K., 2019, (ed.), Exploring (Im)politeness in Ancient Languages [Journal of Historical Pragmatics 20 (2)].

Risselada, R., forthcoming, «How to Anchor Reactions: Interactional Common Ground, Preference Structure and (Im)Politeness in Roman Comedy», en A. M. Martín (ed.), Linguisticae Dissertationes. Current Perspectives on Latin Grammar, Lexicon and Pragmatics, Madrid: Ediciones Clásicas.

Robinson, J., 2013, «Overall Structural Organization», en J. Sidnell, T. Stivers (eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 257-280.

Rodríguez Piedrabuena, S., 2019, La lengua de los personajes. Caracterización lingüística en la obra de Eurípides a partir de los Heraclidas (diss.), Universidad de Sevilla (tesis doctoral).

Sacks, H., 1992, Lectures on conversation, Oxford: Blackwell.

Sacks, H., E. A. Schegloff & G. Jefferson, 1974, «A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking for Conversation», Language. 50 (4, Part 1), 696–735.

Schegloff, E. A., 2007, Sequence Organization in Interaction. Cambridge: CUP.

Schegloff, E. A., G. Jefferson & H. Sacks, 1977, «The Preference for Self-Correction in the Organization of Repair in Conversation», Language 53 (2), 361–382.

Schuren, L. 2014. Shared Storytelling in Euripidean Stichomythia, Amsterdam: Brill.

Sidnell, J., & T. Stivers, 2013, The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Sorrentino, G., 2012. Comunicazione e relazioni interpersonali nelle commedie di Menandro: un’ indagine sul Dyscolos e sulla Samia (diss.), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. < https://freidok.uni-freiburg.de/data/9582>.

Sorrentino, G., forthcoming, «Conversational Openings and Politeness in Menander. An Integrated Pragmatic Approach to Menandrean Dialogue», en L. Unceta Gomez, Ł. Berger (eds.), Politeness in Ancient Greek and Latin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stivers, J., 2013, «Sequence Organization», en J. Sidnell, T. Stivers (eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 191-209.

Van Emde Boas, E., 2017a, «Analyzing Agamemnon: Conversation Analysis and Particles in Greek Tragic Dialogue», Classical Philology 112, 411–434.

Van Emde Boas, E., 2017b, Language and Character in Euripides’ Electra, Oxford: OUP.

Van Emde Boas, E., forthcoming, «(Im)politeness and Conversation Analysis in Greek Tragedy: The Case of Theseus and the Herald in Euripides’ Supplices», in: L. Unceta Gomez, Ł. Berger (eds.), Politeness in Ancient Greek and Latin, Cambridge: CUP.

Verano, R., forthcoming, «Other-Initiated Repetition and Fictive Orality in the Dialogues of Plato», en D. Beck (ed.), Repetition, Communication and Meaning in the Ancient World, Leiden: Brill.
"New Insights into Politeness and Impoliteness"