Impoliteness in the service of verisimilitude in film interaction

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This paper addresses the issue of impoliteness in the context of the verisimilitudeof film discourse. Taking as its departure point the notion of participationframework encompassing two levels of communication underlying filminteraction and drawing on the recent developments in the relevant scholarshipon impoliteness, the present article puts forward a number of hypothesesabout how impoliteness, albeit extremely frequent and superfluous, is plausiblyrendered and does not strike viewers as being inconceivable given the way it isrealised on the characters’ level of communication. To this end, a few pragmaticfactors are discussed: impoliteness as a character trait, the speaker’s power,sanctioning impoliteness within a community of practice, and the nature ofhearers’ reactions to impoliteness.


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