Volume 33, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238
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This paper offers an account of Polish addressative forms encoding deference and familiarity in terms of the relevance-theoretic notion of procedural meaning, which underlies a heterogeneous range of phenomena linked to different cognitive domains. The procedure encoded by pronouns used referentially can be seen as targeting the domain of inferential comprehension and contributing to the truth-conditional meaning of an utterance by identifying a referent of a pronoun. It is claimed here that addressative forms marking the politeness distinction encode another procedure, targeting the social cognition module and activating the hearer’s readiness to identify the form as (in)congruent with social norms. It is argued that the politeness element in addressative forms does not involve conceptual encoding. The potential of the T/V forms for giving rise to stylistic effects is also explored. It is suggested that the proposal can be extended to other languages with the T/V distinction.


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