Explore the intricate world of politeness in spoken communication with Associate Professor Lucien Brown from Monash University.
Politeness extends beyond mere words; it encompasses vocal nuances, body language, and gestures. Join us as we journey through various languages, from Korean to Catalan, and discover how politeness transcends individual channels, revealing a holistic, context-driven etiquette.
This captivating lecture unveils the design of politeness-related features in vocal and embodied communication, emphasizing associations with decreased animateness and non-threatening stances. Don't miss this insightful exploration of language and culture.
Politeness (as well as impoliteness) is evidently not something that resides only in spoken words and constructions. Even the most ostensibly polite utterance can be rendered in a way that makes it impolite if delivered with a certain prosody, or if accompanied by rude gestures. Reflecting the importance of vocal and embodied aspects of politeness, recent years have witnessed a multimodal turn within politeness research. An ever-increasing number of studies are investigating the ways that speakers design their vocal productions and embodied behaviours to mediate politeness-related meanings. In this talk, I will overview a series of collaborative studies that I have worked on primarily with Korean data, but also studies that involve speakers of Japanese, Chinese, Catalan, Russian, German and English speakers. I demonstrate that politeness-related meanings are indexed in a multimodal and holistic fashion across several areas of acoustics, sound objects (i.e., non-verbal speech sounds), gestures and other bodily visual practices. Politeness does not reside “in” any of these other channels, but rather emerges in context through the simultaneous usage of different, complementary modalities. I will contend that the design of politeness-related features of vocal and embodied communication are not random, but index politeness via associations with decreased animateness, decreased freedom of action, and non-threatening stances.
About the speaker
Lucien Brown
Associate Professor Lucien Brown, Monash University
Lucien Brown is a Korea Foundation Associate Professor in Korean Studies. Prior to joining Monash in January 2018, they worked at University of Oregon, USA (2011-2017). Lucien obtained their MA in Korean Studies and PhD in Korean Language Research from SOAS University of London, UK. They are currently an Associate Editor of Journal of Pragmatics, and Editor of Korean Linguistics. They are also an applied linguist who carries out research in two interrelated fields: politeness research and socio-cultural language learning/teaching.

About Alumni events

UQ alumni and community events take place in-person and online, across the globe, throughout the year. UQ alumni are invited to join the UQ ChangeMakers platform to access early event registrations, benefits and discounts.

Join UQ ChangeMakers