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Leech’s Politeness Principle——Analyzing a Segment from Desperate Housewives

Xiuhua Zhao


Politeness principle is one of the major principles in pragmatic analysis. This thesis first reviews the development of Politeness Principle, and the content of Leech’s Politeness Principle, then gives a brief introduction of a television series Desperate Housewives, of which one segment will be selected to be analyzed. To illustrate how Leech’s Politeness Principle works, that segment has been analyzed in minute detail in the following part. Much fun has been brought out when daily dialogue is appreciated from the perspective of pragmatics.


Politeness Principle

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[1] Brown, Penelope, Levinson, et al. Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1978.

[2] Goffman, Erving. Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face behavior. New York: Doubleday and Company; 1955.

[3] Leech, Geoffrey N. Principles of pragmatics. New York: Longman House; 1983.

[4] Liu RQ. On Leech's politeness principle. Foreign Language Teaching and Research 1987; 70: 42-46.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18686/ahe.v5i1.3152