RECONCEPTUALIZING AND RECONTEXTUALIZING POLITENESS, IMPOLITENESS AND OVER-POLITENESS WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE
This treatise re-evaluates politeness, impoliteness and overpoliteness. It argues that every culture has ways of showing politeness, impoliteness and overpoliteness. The paper holds that the concepts should not be viewed in abstraction but within the purview of communicative competence and contexts of use. Employing Hymes (1974) theory of Ethnography of Communication and Communicative Competence, the study argues that every native speaker of a language understands the relational reality in the concepts but factors such as social distance, social intimacy, cultural ideology, in-group solidarity and other factors influence the linguistic communication and purpose of verbal interaction between interlocutors such that what is supposed to be said is different from what is actually said and understood without causing offence. The study explicates the concepts of politeness, impoliteness and over-politeness taking into account that their understanding is indispensible to the comprehension of the reconceptualization and recontextualization of the concepts.