Face Threatening Acts and Standing Orders: ‘Politeness’ or ‘politics' in the Question Time Discu ssions of the Kenyan Parliament
Karanja, Peter Ndichu
Ambuyo, B. A.
Indede, F. N.
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This paper examines politeness in the context of politics during question time discussions of the Kenyan Parliament; politeness is an attempt by the speaker to linguistically show he cares about the others feelings. Question time is a highly aggressive session full of FTAs but the parliamentarians are constrained to produce parliamentary language required by the standing orders of 2008, thus politeness strategies become the only linguistic device to the realization of fruitful political discussions. The live televised question time sessions within a period of two weeks in the month of April and May 2009 were recorded, transcribed and sampled for analysis. This was done using a theoretical framework encompassing positive, negative, and image repair politeness strategies. The findings show that certain strategies are used to mitigate FTAs thus enhancing effective communication; others are a ritual requirement by the standing orders whereas others are as a result of mere politics between the different political factions.