Periphery – Diachronic and Cross-Linguistic Approaches
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This study compares the development of the Latin and Italian politeness markers and (‘please’). The markers, originally performative verbs meaning ‘I ask, I pray’, have developed politeness-related functions which index the action structure (i.e., polite requests) and the exchange structure (i.e., management of turns). Such developments correlate closely with the degree of integration of the markers and with their position within the sentence. In our analysis we describe these developments in both languages using diachronically balanced corpora of texts compiled at regular intervals. We discuss the pragmaticalization paths of politeness markers considering the role of left and right peripheries against the background of Schiffrin’s (1987) model of discourse and subsequent developments (the Val.Es.Co. model). The emergence of politeness-related functions can be accounted for by considering the interaction of exchange and action structures, the type of unit of discourse where and appear, and the position they occupy.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): action structure; exchange structure; periphery; politeness markers; pragmatic cycles
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