Bousfield, Derek (2007) Beginnings, middles and ends: A biopsy of the dynamics of impolite exchanges. Journal of Pragmatics, 39 (12). pp. 2185-2216. ISSN 0378-2166

This paper focuses on the triggering, progression and resolution of spoken interactional exchanges which contain impoliteness. Taking television documentary recordings of reprimands within army training discourses; disputes between car owners (on the one hand) and traffic wardens and other car owners (on the other); and exchanges between staff in a restaurant kitchen as the data, I revisit, complement and substantially extend the model of dynamic aspects of impolite exchanges postulated by Culpeper et al. (2003:1562–1568). Here I argue that we are now in a position to go further than did Culpeper et al. (2003) in order to gain a fuller understanding of the ‘anatomical workings’ of impoliteness containing exchanges, that is, to gain a further level of appreciation for (1) how impolite containing exchanges are triggered, (2) how they pan out, and (3) how they come to some form of resolution. The range of different discourse types is deployed here to show that the extended model suggested appears to work in multiple settings. I suggest that this paper may have important implications for studies concerned with linguistic approaches to conflict avoidance and conflict resolution.

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