Background of the Study
Language is a tool that people need to communicate. Holtgraves (2002: 1) mentions “language is a system that allows people to communicate or transfer propositions among themselves”. People need language to share their ideas to others in order to have a good relationship among them. Through the language, people can understand what other people want and think. Basically, people can be interactive and communicative with other people in social behavior.
In social interaction, being polite is very important in making a good communication. According to Holtgraves (2002: 38), “politeness is a technical term, a theoretical construct invoked as a means of explaining the link between language use and social context”. It means politeness aims to explain the correlation beetween language and social context. Brown and Levinson (1987) categorize politeness into four types of politeness strategies, namely bald-on-record, off-record, positive politeness, and negative politeness.
The researcher chooses conversation to be analyzed using positive politeness strategy, because it is the most common form of communication in which people often use in direct communication through words. Conversation is one of the communication activities that can be done by two or more participants in a given social situation and context. One of conversation activities can be found in a talk show. Talk show is a video or television programme on which famous guests are asked questions about themselves, or members of the public discuss a particular subject.
The researcher focuses on a video entitled “Ellen and First Lady Michelle Obama Go to CVS”. It is about Ellen who help preparing the First Lady Michelle Obama for life after the White House by taking her to CVS Pharmacy to pick up a few things. The Ellen DeGeneres Show script contains many of conversation in situation asking question and responding question directly and spontaneously between Ellen and her guest stars in her talk show. The conversation among the speakers in this talk show can be analyzed based on the types of politeness strategies. Therefore, the researcher only focused on analyzing types of positive politeness strategies based on Brown and Levinson’s theory of positive politeness strategies used by Ellen DeGeneres and Michelle Obama in the video of “Ellen and First Lady Michelle Obama Go to CVS”.
The researcher focuses on the positive politeness strategy in the video of “Ellen and First Lady Michelle Obama Go to CVS”. The theories to support the facts will be described as follows:
Language is a system of communication used by human beings around the world in the forms of sounds and words to express their thought, meanings and ideas, and also can be used to get information about what people need. Crystal (2008: 265) state that language may refer to the concrete act of speaking, writing, or signing in a given situation. Chomsky (2002: 13) in (Carola Trips, 2015) says that language is a set (finite or infinite) of sentences, each finite in length and constructed out of a finite set of elements. Language is an important media that deliver message from all people in this world in communication.
Wardhaugh (2006: 13) says that sociolinguistics is concerned with investigating the relationships between language and society with the goal of getting a better understanding of structure of language and of how languages function in communication. Crystal (2008: 440) states that linguistics is a branch of linguistics which studies all aspects of the relationship between language and society. Sociolinguistics study such matters as the linguistic identity of social groups, social attitudes to language, standard and non-standard form of language, the patterns and needs of national language use, social varieties and levels of language, the social basis of multilingualism and so on. Sosiolinguistic is the study of the connection between language and society and the way people use language in different social situations.
Cruse (2006: 136) says that pragmatics deals with non-truth conditional aspects where context must be taken into account. Context is understood here in a broad sense that includes participants in the speech event, their interrelations, knowledge, goals, social, and physical setting of the speech event. Pragmatics deals with the use of the meaning description. Cutting (2002; 3) enhances “pragmatics is the study of language which focuses in interactional sociolinguistics, which combines the conversation, with a pragmatic approach, study socio interaction and giving importance to context, function and social norms, conventions and principle.” Pragmatics is concerned with meaning which is interpreted by the listener as the part of communication. The interpretation can be different from one person to another, depending on its context.
Cutting (2002: 45) says that politeness is a linguictic expression that gives people space and shows a friendly attitude to them. Furthermore, Cutting (2002: 51) states that politeness is a pragmatic phenomenon. Politeness lies not in the form and the words themselves, but in their function and intended social meaning. Politeness is used to show a friendly attitude towards the hearer to be respected and wanted by the other people. By using politeness, people try to be polite and show respect to each other in order to build up relationship.
- Face Threatening Acts (FTAs)
According Goffman (1987: 5) in (Holtgraves, 2002: 38) defines face as the positive social value a person effectively claims for himself during a particular contact. Brown and Levinson (1987: 63) in Linguistictoolbox suggest that everyone has two types of face: negative dan positive faces. Sometimes, faces cannot be simply maintained as what one interactional party wants. The speakers and hearer’s faces are usually threatened by one another to varying degrees. As a result, the speakers and the hearers do act that damages the face of others in opposition to their face-saving and desire. This act is called Face Threatening Acts (FTAs). Brown and Levinson (1987: 70) in (Ana Kedveš, 2013: 434), denine FTAs as “acts run contrary to face wants of the hearers and/or the speaker.” FTAs are usually done within verbal communication, through utterances for instance.
- Politeness Strategy
Brown and Levinson (in Watts, 2003: 85) say that in communication, the speaker should have a way to assess the dangers of threatening other participant’s face. He or she has to choose the appropriate strategies in order to minimaze any face threats that might be involved in carrying out the goal-directed activity called as politeness strategy.
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