A PRAGMA-DISCOURSE STUDY OF FACE-SAVING AND FACE-THREATENING ACTS ON THE BBC’S HARDTALK INTERVIEW

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A PRAGMA-DISCOURSE STUDY OF FACE-SAVING AND FACE-THREATENING ACTS ON THE BBC’S HARDTALK INTERVIEW

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ABSTRACT

 

The media is a powerful tool of influence in societies. Media interviews provide a special platform that showcases how language is used. This study focuses on the Pragmatic concepts of Face-Saving and Face-Threatening Acts on the BBC‘S HardTalk interview. It attempts to find out what kind of acts interlocutors on interviews perform; how face threats affect interlocutors and how they respond to them. The Speech Act theory and the Stimulus-Response theory are deployed in analysing the data. In all, three interviews are studied. A total of 25 tables containing about 50 utterances are extracted and studied. The findings show that, by their utterances, interviewers and interviewees perform a variety of acts. Some of these acts include questioning, accusing, alleging, asserting, debunking, denying, concurring, reprimanding, cautioning, announcing, affirming, requesting, informing, clarifying, obscuring, defending, reporting, denigrating, admitting, rejecting, approving, attacking, bragging and naming, among others. The findings also show that both the interviewer and the interviewee encounter face-threats as they engage in dialogue. Face threats can arise from the implicatures invoked by/embedded in the utterances of the interviewers and the interviewees. Face-threats are countered with face-threats, more or less. In conclusion, the interviewer‘s attitude, more than that of the interviewee, determines the politeness tone of the whole interview process. FTAs undermine politeness. The more an interlocutor feels his face threatened, the less polite (and perhaps, cooperative) he/she will be at every given time. But when FTAs are mitigated by careful phrasing and couching, the threat level becomes very minimal.

A PRAGMA-DISCOURSE STUDY OF FACE-SAVING AND FACE-THREATENING ACTS ON THE BBC’S HARDTALK INTERVIEW

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