Pragmatics deviates from traditional interpretations of politeness both in its concept and terminology and in the way it delineates the range of phenomena to be explored. This paper discusses these differences in terms of two dominant theories of politeness: Leech's Conversational Maxims, and Brown and Levinson's notion of face-work. The author puts both theories into wider perspective and compares them, noting their virtues and shortcomings. Being less well known of the two, Brown and Levinson's theory is given a more detailed treatment, going through the changes that the concept of 'face' has undergone, and discussing each type of face-threatening acts that those two scholars have defined. The aim of the author is to encourage, by her analytical review, an increase in the number and scope of pragmatic studies in this country.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.