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Systematized impoliteness in the nonsense world of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Abstract : Theories of conversation very often revolve around the idea of cooperation, an idea dear to their founding father H.P. Grice (see Grice 1975). In a similar fashion, as Jonathan Culpeper points out in the introduction to his article “towards an anatomy of impoliteness”, theories of politeness often define the latter as a set of strategies “employed to promote or maintain social harmony in interaction” (Culpeper 1996:349). For those familiar or accustomed to this vision of conversation, reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872) might be quite an interesting (and enjoyable) experience. In Carroll’s imaginary lands, conversation is indeed more of a battlefield and the characters cultivate an altogether different behavior, which amounts to a sort of systematized impoliteness This article seeks to explore the latter as a system in its own right, with its own principle and strategies, derived from Leech's Politeness Principle turned upside-down.
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Célia Schneebeli. Systematized impoliteness in the nonsense world of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Denis Jamet and Manuel Jobert. Aspects of Linguistic Impoliteness, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.160-172, 2013, 1-4438-4905-7. ⟨halshs-01080551⟩

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