Diah Ikawati Ayuningtyas


Request is one of speech act phenomena, which we encounter most frequently in everyday social interaction. When expressing a request, the speaker has an intention to the hearer to do something that is beneficial to him/her. In this circumstance, the speaker is impossing on the hearer; while the hearer has to pay cost of carrying out the request. Brown and Levinson claim request as one kind of face threatening acts (FTA). Because of the nature of request, politeness strategy must be applied when expressing a request. There are four super strategies of politeness strategy defined by Brown and Levinson, i.e. bald on record, positive politeness, negative politeness, as well as off record. There are some reasons underlying the use of certain strategies. They are the urgency of the request itself, the relationship between the speaker and the hearer, not to mention the speaker’s willingness to lessen the imposition on the hearer. Yet, the use of the politeness strategies do not always work well. In other word, the speaker does not always gain what he wants.


Face Threatening Act (FTA); politeness stategy; request


Blum-Kulka, Shoshana, et. Al. 1987. Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies Volume XXXI. New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Blum-Kulka, Shoshana, et. Al. 1987. Playing it Safe: The Role of Conventionality in Indirectness. In Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies Volume XXXI. New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Brown, Gillian; Yule, George. 1993. Discourse Analysis, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

Brown, Penelope; Levinson, Stephen C. 1987. Politeness, Some Universals in Language Usage. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kitao, Kenji. 2000. Differences Between Politeness Strategies Used in Requests by Americans and Japanese – From the Rules Perspective.

Lyons, John. 1987. Semantics. New York: Longman, Inc.

Thomas, Jenny. 1995. Meaning in Interactions. An Introduction to Pragmatics

Yule, George. 1996. Pragmatics. New York: Oxford University Press

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21107/prosodi.v6i2.54


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