Linguistic impoliteness in the Iraqi and British parliaments

Mohammed, Amal (2019) Linguistic impoliteness in the Iraqi and British parliaments. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of 2019MohammedAYPhD.PDF.pdf]
Download (7MB) | Preview


The current research is essentially a qualitative comparison of impoliteness in the Iraqi and British parliamentary discourse. It is intended to enhance our understanding of impoliteness, in particular parliamentary interactions. Hence, the study aims at developing an analytical framework to account for and compare the nature of parliamentary impoliteness in these two settings. The comparison includes three dimensions of impoliteness: (1) the factors that underlie the communication/ interpretation of impoliteness in these settings; (2) the linguistic set of strategies utilised by the Iraqi and British parliamentarians to convey impoliteness in initiation turns; (3) the counter-impoliteness patterns available to politicians in the Iraqi and British parliaments.

Following a theory- and data-driven approach, this study integrates different approaches to device an analytical framework that covers cross-cultural differences in impoliteness patterns. The framework draws on Bull et al.'s (1996); Spencer-Oatey's (2000, 2005, 2008); Culpeper's (2011); Harris' (2001); Bull & Wells' (2012); Culpeper's (1996); Culpeper et al.'s (2003); and Bousfield's (2007) theory contributions to address the aspects of impoliteness under discussion.

The study employs a binary set of naturally occurring data, which comprises pre-existing video recordings of parliamentary discourse from both cultural settings. The Iraqi parliamentary corpus comprises three interrogation sessions in which governmental figures, i.e. Ministers of Defence, Trade, and the Mayor of Baghdad, are being questioned on allegations of corruption. The British corpus comprises 19 Prime Minister’s Question Time sessions, henceforth PMQs, featuring David Cameron as Prime Minster and both Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn as the Leader of the Opposition. The length of the analysed corpus in each setting comprises nine and a half hours.

The analysis reveals a significant influence of the institutional context on shaping the three dimensions of impoliteness under examination in these two parliamentary practices. The analysis also shows that face is fundamental in the interpretation/communication of impoliteness in these parliamentary interactions. However, particular sociality rights also contribute to sculpting impoliteness in these parliamentary corpora, such as autonomy and imposition expectancies. Additionally, the results reflect points of similarity with respect to the use of particular impoliteness strategies in initiation turns and counter-impoliteness strategies in response turns in both parliaments. The absence of some strategies in questioning and answering turns is also noticeable in both parliaments. Moreover, the results indicate differences between the two parliaments in the frequency and delivery of strategies both in questioning and answering turns.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Users 9280 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 10:37
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2022 01:38

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item