Article published in:Pragmatics and Autolexical Grammar: In honor of Jerry Sadock
Edited by Etsuyo Yuasa, Tista Bagchi and Katharine Beals
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 176] 2011
► pp. 93–106
Pseudo-apologies in the news
This paper examines two pseudo-apologies in the news. Apologies have been defined as involving acceptance of responsibility for an offense and an acknowledgment of its wrongfulness. In contrast, pseudo-apologies index a stance lacking in remorse. This examination of a deviant type of apology reveals some of the limits that mediation imposes on more prototypical apologies: the more a speaker is viewed as attending to the interests of parties other than the offended party/ies, the greater the detriment to the apology. We propose that the polysemy of I’m sorry (and, via association, I apologize), which can serve as both apology and expression of sympathy, provides the functional structure for the pseudo-apologies examined here.
Published online: 29 April 2011
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