Implying an impolite belief: A case of tikkeh in Persian

Tahmineh Tayebi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The focus of this study is on a particular type of implied impoliteness in Persian commonly known as tikkeh. Given the lack of critical attention paid to the notion of implied impoliteness in the literature, the present study seeks to explore this issue further by addressing the following questions: (i) What is implied impoliteness? (ii) What are the properties which make it different from other types of conventionalized impoliteness? (iii) For whom is it offensive? And finally (iv) how does one evaluate an implied meaning as offensive? It will be argued that, in the right context, any utterance can potentially be evaluated as a tikkeh which can convey a negative impolite belief about the ratified and/or unratified hearer(s). In this respect, examples from both dyadic and polylogal interactions are provided. Along the way, the influence of relational histories as well as interpersonal expectations are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-113
Number of pages25
JournalIntercultural Pragmatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2018


  • implied impoliteness
  • impoliteness
  • insinuations
  • Persian
  • relationships


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