Publication details [#53975]

Pan, Yuling. 2010. Cantonese politeness in the interviewing setting. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 20 (1) : 10–33.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper aims to use Cantonese interview data to explore how (im)politeness is used as a discursive strategy and resource to attend to the perceived interactional goal and power relationship in the interview setting. It adopts a situation-oriented and ethnography-driven approach to study politeness as a situated action. In addition to investigating Cantonese-specific features of politeness, the study demonstrates that power relation in politeness should be analyzed at the level of the entire communicative event as well as at the turn-to-turn level. Findings of this study are significant not only for extending politeness research to less commonly studied languages like Cantonese, but also for expanding the application of politeness theories to other research areas such as institutional discourse and survey research.