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Flores-Salgado, ElizabethTeresa A. Castineira-Benitez (2018). »The use of politeness in WhatsApp discourse and move ‘requests’«. In: Journal of Pragmatics, Nr. 133. S. 79-92.

ISSN: 03782166

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Abstract: WhatsApp provides the opportunity to send and receive text, audio recordings and messages with visual content. To our knowledge, there are no linguistic guidelines for writing WhatsApp messages and people may often be unsure about which politeness strategies and forms of language are appropriate for a specific occasion. This study addresses WhatsApp communication among native speakers of Spanish in Mexico and presents an analysis of a total of 82 WhatsApp messages containing requests sent by 60 native speakers of Spanish who were members of two different groups. The researchers examined verbal means of expressing politeness in the forms of address, opening and closing formulae, the degree of directness, and the amount of syntactic, lexical/phrasal and external modification used in the WhatsApp requests employed by Mexican Spanish speakers. The analysis focused on politeness strategy selection, with the findings obtained showing that people use conventionally indirect strategies and a great deal of syntactic modification. Opening and closing sequences occurred in all of the interactions analyzed. Greetings were preferred over deferential forms of address that could indicate a way of showing solidarity between interactants. The results were examined based on Watts' (2003) concepts of politic behavior and politeness to highlight the pragmalinguistic characteristics of the WhatsApp requests employed by Mexican Spanish users.

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