This study investigates the interface of power and politeness in the realization of disagreements in naturalistic language data. Power and politeness are important phenomena in face-to-face interaction. Disagreement is an arena in which these two key concepts are likely to be observed together. Both disagreement and the exercise of power entail a conflict. At the same time, conflict will often be softened by the display of politeness. The material for analysis comes from three different contexts: (1) a sociable argument in an informal, supportive, and interactive family setting; (2) a business meeting among colleagues at a research institution; and (3) examples from public discourse collected during the US Election in 2000.
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