Cod. Conf001 - ABSTRACT

Title: Portuguese language, change and variation – challenges for teaching Portuguese as a Foreign Language


Abstract: From a discursive pragmatics perspective, one realizes that the principle of politeness is often decisive in the reduction of the illocutionary force in specific speech acts and that the use of mitigating circumstances (Brown & Levinson 1987) allow to soften the FTAs, thus making them less menacing for the addressee’s face and, therefore, an attenuating process. We shall start, then, by BRIZ’s definition of attenuation, which emphasizes that attenuation is a strategic mechanism of linguistic detachment from the message and, in turn, of proximity towards the Other: «En efecto, la atenuación es un mecanismo estratégico de distanciamiento lingüístico del mensage y a la vez de acercamiento social (lingüisticamente, atenuación significa distancia del mensaje; socialmente, atenuación significa acercamiento al outro». (BRIZ 2014: 86). According to the classification made by Kerbrat-Oreccioni (1992: 200-233), the linguistic attenuants can consist of figuration substituting procedures and figuration adding procedures, the latter being the ones which go hand-in-hand with direct formulation and may be expressed through statements of prefiguration, repairing formulas, disarmers, minimization, adulation and modality. In this lecture, we will look at figuration adding procedures, namely the ones occurring in prefiguration statements which go with actions of request, with reparating formulas (apologies and justifications) and also the use of flattering nominal formulations which act in preventing or repairing, questioning their role in the service of politeness.

Keywords: Attenuation, complicity, courtesy, digital age