Linguistic Politeness in the Marketing Discourse of Pushtoon Service Providers
The paper aims to analyze the linguistic strategies of politeness in the transactional talk of Pushtoon Salesmen with Lahori customers. The current study assumes politeness as a tool to achieve the effect of persuasion. The data was collected randomly from the naturally occurring speech of 26 Pushtoon service providers of Auriga and Barkat Market to show an unbiased representation of the group. The recorded data was then transcribed and examined using Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory. The findings of the study reveal a preference for cultural-specific address terms to soften the tone of face-threatening speech acts. Frequent use of imperatives with kinship terms, like Baji, Bhai, etc. were employed to reduce the threatening impact of direct speech. The results imply that socio-cultural values of the region is crucial to politeness. Adopting certain polite markers, relevant to the socio-cultural values of the region, can compensate for the lack of language proficiency to some extent. Pushtoons service providers seem to have compensated for their lack of proficiency in Urdu by adopting socio-cultural values of Lahore. The present study contributes to the field of discourse construction where the ability of Pushtoon salesmen to use certain linguistic codes and elements to combine into utterances is demonstrated. The study is also a reflection of the pros and cons of a transactional interaction and can be used to train salesmen in marketing discourse.