Publication details [#25563]

Pavlidou, Theodossia. 1994. Contrasting German-Greek politeness and the consequences. Journal of Pragmatics 21 (5) : 487–511.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


This paper compares Greek and German conversational styles and examines politeness within a speech event context (the telephone call), pointing out some consequences for the Brown and Levinson theory (BLT). Greeks appear to use more phatic utterances in the opening part of telephone conversations to enhance the relationship aspect of communication, whereas Germans emphasize more the content aspect (cfr. the Watzlawick et al. theory on relationship and content aspects of communication). This means that in BTL one has to search a way to make politeness and directness compatible.