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Cultural Values and Impolite Behaviour. The Case of Spaniards and North-Americans

Francisco Miguel Ivorra Pérez


This paper explores the influence of the individualism index (Hofstede 1991) of Spaniards and North-Americans on verbal impoliteness behaviour following Kaul de Marlangeon’s (2008) taxonomy of impolite acts. The level of social distance and affect between the interlocutors are considered as potential factors impacting on the use of impoliteness types and strategies. The corpus consists of scripts from a small sample of six movies (three from Spain and three from the US) and we follow an observational and a quantitative analysis. The findings reveal remarkable statistical differences as a result of the impact of cultural values on the verbal impoliteness behaviour of speakers from each country.


culture; individualism; impoliteness; Peninsular Spanish; American English

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Miscelánea: A Journal of English and American Studies

ISSN: 1137-6368