Politeness in Indirect Reporting

  • Mostafa Morady Moghaddam
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 21)


This chapter is a belated acknowledgement of the role of politeness as conceptualised through indirect reporting. Politeness is quintessential in discussing a sound theory of social interaction in general and pragmatics in particular. After some general elaborations on ethical issues and moral standards during interaction, this chapter introduces the concept of the ‘Dynamic Dialogic Ethic’ whereby it is argued that a scientific definition of ethics should pass through individuals’ viewpoints as the self- and other-regulatory entities in interaction based on sociocognitive factors. Indirect reports (as a complex language game) can act as a powerful tool to manipulate politeness. Indirect reporting closely embraces individuals’ appreciation of self-image (positive face), and their claim for personal preserves (negative face). The practice of indirect reporting creates responsibilities for all participants in indirect reporting. The reporter can use some parts of the original speaker’s speech to frighten the hearer, impose something upon him/her, or limit his/her freedom. In this case, indirect reporting is a paradigm example of negative impoliteness. Based on the discussion on the different impoliteness strategies by Culpeper, this chapter treats ‘third-person-report impoliteness’ in indirect reports. Additionally, the complicated case of accountability in indirect reporting is considered in this chapter and it is argued that based on the issue of strategic (im)politeness, the issue of responsibility in reporting slurring is not a straightforward topic. The concept of ‘disagreement’ is dealt with in this chapter and several kinds of disagreement in indirect reporting are dealt with.


Decision-making Disagreement Dynamic dialogic ethic Face Impoliteness Politeness Slurring Strategic (im)politeness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mostafa Morady Moghaddam
    • 1
  1. 1.Shahrood University of TechnologyShahroodIran

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