Panel 6. (Im)politeness and intersubjectivity (ENG)

Organizers: Renate Pajusalu (University of Tartu),; Miina Norvik (University of Tartu),

The workshop aims to bring together researchers from various research fields to discuss how politeness and impoliteness are connected to the notion of intersubjectivity, which we understand as people’s mutual awareness of each other’s knowledge and attitudes. Interactional (im)politeness practices caught increased attention in the wake of Brown and Levinson's (1987) seminal work on politeness theory. Since then, theoretical approaches to (im)politeness have developed in different directions (e.g. Watts 2003, Mills 2003, Culpeper 2011, Haugh & Kadar 2017). The important assumption in all these directions is that a person cannot be polite or impolite alone, there is always the other one to whom a person is polite or impolite. This means that (im)politeness is an inherently intersubjective phenomenon. However, the ways of taking into account another person vary across languages, situations and cultures.

We invite researchers from all fields to join the workshop, including, for example, interactional, sociolinguistic, ethnographic and pragmatic approaches. The topics of presentations could include address practices, awareness in (im)politeness strategies, small talk etc.


Brown, Penelope and Stephen C. Levinson 1987. Politeness. Some universals in language usage. Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics 4. Cambridge University Press.

Culpeper, Jonathan. 2011. Impoliteness. Cambridge Univesrity Press.

Haugh M., Kádár D.Z. 2017. Intercultural (Im)politeness. In: Culpeper J., Haugh M., Kádár D. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im)politeness. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Mills, Sara. 2003. Gender and Politeness. Cambridge University Press.

Watts, Richard J. 2003. Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.