By Robin Tolmach Lakoff, Laurel Sutton

Context Counts assembles, for the 1st time, the paintings of pre-eminent linguist Robin Tolmach Lakoff. A occupation that spans a few 40 years, Lakoff continues to be probably the most influential linguists of the 20th-century. The early papers exhibit the genesis of Lakoff's inquiry into the connection of language and social strength, rules later codified within the groundbreaking Language and Woman's position and conversing Power. The past due papers replicate her endured exposition of energy dynamics past gender which are validated and represented in language.

This quantity deals a retrospective research of Lakoff's paintings, with every one paper preceded via an creation from a well-known linguist within the box, together with either contemporaries and scholars of Lakoff's paintings, and extra, Lakoff's personal dialog with those responses. This enticing and, every now and then, relocating reevaluation will pay homage to Lakoff's far-reaching effect upon linguistics, whereas additionally serving as an strange type of autobiography revealing the a long time' lengthy evolution of a scholarly career.

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London: Longman. T H E L O G I C OF P OL I T E N E S S [ 35 ] 36 37 CHAPTER 2 The logic of politeness; or, Minding your P’s and Q’s (1973) W e who come from the tradition of transformational grammar seem to have spent an inordinate amount of our youth tripping over the lumps in our rugs that contain the insoluble problems we have consigned to that location. ,” and so on. That is, we needed to worry about the context in which utterances were uttered, both linguistic and non-​linguistic; only by appeal to context could we account for the unacceptability under some conditions of sentences which under other conditions were unexceptionable.

17 perils for one who does not understand the application of levels of politeness in English. For example, consider the following ways of giving an order. When can each be used appropriately? What happens if the wrong one is used? (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) Come in, won’t you? Please come in. Come in. Come in, will you? Get the hell in here. It would seem clear that these sentences are ranked in an order of descending politeness. To use (17), your status must be higher than that of the addressee; moreover, you must be in such a situation that you don’t even care to maintain the conventional pretense that you are addressing him as an equal.

Her approach has illuminated many of the intricacies of language use in social and cultural context. As I review the impressive body of work that Robin has produced over the years for both academic and popular audiences, what strikes me most is the sheer originality of her approach and her down-​to-​earth attitude toward linguistic and language-​use problems. She has bravely challenged the difficulties in what Chomsky has called Orwell’s problem (the explanation of the political/​social/​institutional systems that instill beliefs in our lives) as compared to Plato’s problem (the discovery of a human cognitive system).

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