Impoliteness in children’s interactions in a Spanish/English bilingual community of practice


This article examines how participants do impoliteness in children's peer interaction in a second grade, Spanish/English bilingual community of practice in an elementary school in the Southwestern United States. The main goal of this analysis is to investigate whether the impoliteness strategies and verbal resources initially identified by Culpeper (1996) and refined in Culpeper et al. (2003) and Culpeper (2005) are found in a different discourse type, namely the spontaneous talk of a small group of Spanish/English bilingual children. A sequential analysis is employed in order to examine how impoliteness is constructed. This article addresses two central research questions: (1) What impoliteness strategies and verbal resources do participants use? and (2) How do participants respond to impoliteness in interaction? The analysis demonstrates that Culpeper's model of impoliteness, as amended in subsequent publications including an alignment with Spencer-Oatey's (2002) concept of rapport-management, proved useful in classifying the impoliteness strategies used to attack interlocutors' face and sociality rights in a different discourse type. In addition, speakers' responses to impoliteness were found to be crucial to the definition of impoliteness, and a variety of response strategies were employed.


Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

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Journal of Politeness Research


De Gruyter

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