Supportive moves in requests and orders in brazilian portuguese and uruguayan spanish variant

Luzia Schalkoski-Dias, Elena Godoy



Considering the linguistic politeness studies (Brown & Levinson, 1987) and the request analysis categories usually described in cross-cultural research (Blum-Kulka, House, & Kasper, 1989a), this paper examines the discursive strategies that support requests and orders in a corpus produced by brazilians (from Curitiba), and uruguayans (from Montevideo). It is sought to verify whether the traditionally described categories apply to the data and to what extent the strategies used agree in these two linguistic-cultural communities. To this end, different contextual variables are taken into account by means of a Written Discourse-Completion Test. We raised the initial hypothesis that geographical and cultural nearness between the two societies favors a strong similarity in the strategies used by their members. However, the comparison between the external mitigating strategies produced in specific contexts has shown certain pragmatic and linguistic patterns that are specific of each group, as it is the case of the increased tendency towards the expression of negative politeness by uruguayan informants.



cross-cultural pragmatics; directive speech acts; politeness; mitigating strategies.

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ISSN 1983-4675 (impresso) e 1983-4683 (on-line) e-mail:


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