Perception of (im)politeness and the underlying cultural conceptualisations: A study of Persian

Farzad Sharifian, Tahmineh Tayebi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study sets out to investigate the role of culture' as one of the many important factors that influence the evaluation of (im)politeness in Persian from a Cultural Linguistics perspective. The paper argues that Cultural Linguistics, and in particular the notion of cultural schema, has the potential to offer a robust analytical framework for the exploration of (im)polite use of language. We elaborate on this proposal by presenting examples of data from Persian in which speakers interpret impolite behaviour in light of a number of Persian cultural schemas. The study also offers a novel three-layered approach for the analysis of (im)politeness data that combines metadiscourse analysis with the ethnography of cultural conceptualisations, while highlighting the importance of the notion of heterogeneous distribution' of cultural conceptualisations, a pivotal theoretical concept in Cultural Linguistics which accounts for the variations in speakers' evaluation of (im)politeness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-253
Number of pages23
JournalPragmatics and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2017


  • (im)politeness
  • Cultural Linguistics
  • Cultural schema
  • Persian


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