Derya Agis\ IJSL

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Derya Agis\ IJSL

  1. 1. International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), Vol. 6(1), 2012 (pp. 25-38) 25 Gender and politeness: Politeness strategies in the popular Turkish series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) Derya Fazila Agis, Middle East Technical University and Brandeis University In this study, I observed the use of the politeness strategies suggested by Brown and Levinson (1987) in the popular Turkish series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”). I suggested that women and men were employing different politeness strategies in similar situations. I hypothesized that in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) men were employing more negative politeness strategies in their work-place than women, whereas women were employing more positive politeness strategies than men. Women were using more negative politeness strategies than men, talking to their older relatives, above 50 (fifty) years old, but men were using more positive politeness strategies than women. Mostly, middle-aged men were preferring to use bald-off-record strategies, whereas middle-aged women were preferring to use positive politeness strategies, while talking to their children and the friends and the lovers of their children. I obtained significant results for all the three hypotheses, after Chi-Square analyses had been conducted on the data. Key words: Gender; Politeness; Age; Class; Popular Culture; Turkish Humor 1. Introduction In this study I aim to analyze the negative politeness, positive politeness, bald on-record, and bald-off record strategies of Brown and Levinson (1987) employed in the Turkish series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), written by Gülse Birsel, a well-known Turkish journalist, writer, and actress. In fact, the Turkish series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) represents the life and the language of the contemporary Turkish youth of Nişantaşı from a humorous perspective. For this reason, I chose to investigate the gender differences in language use in the egalitarian society in the series. The protagonists of the series are Aslı (Gülse Birsel), Volkan (Ata Demirer), Tacettin (Veysel Diker), Fatoş (Şenay Gürler), Tahsin (Gazanfer Özcan), Yaprak (Hale Caneroğlu), İffet (Hümeyra), Selin (Evrim Akın), Cem (Levent Üzümcü), Sertaç (Yavuz Seçkin), Şesu (Bülent Polat), Mr. Saadettin (Yıldırım Öcek), Kubilay (Vural Çelik), and Burhan (Engin Günaydın). In the episodes that I analyzed, there are also other characters (Victoria, Pelin, and some guests). 2. Background According to the linguistic politeness concept of Brown and Levinson, there are two types of face: one is the negative face that people show, aspiring that others will not inhibit their actions, and the other is the positive face, which consists of the positive representation of a person’s self to “be appreciated
  2. 2. 26 | Derya Fazila Agis and approved” by others (Brown & Levinson, 1987, p. 61). Moreover, people tend to keep one another’s face without any interruption, interacting with others (Brown & Levinson, 1987, p. 61). Face threatening acts, or FTAs play a crucial role in communication, since individuals respect or detest somebody in accordance with these, which “include acts of criticizing, disagreeing, interrupting, imposing, asking a favor, requesting information or goods, embarrassing, bumping into, and so forth” (Morand & Ocker, 2003, p. 2). As mentioned by Akıncı (1999), “orders,” “requests,” “suggestions,” “advice,” “remindings,” “threats,” “warnings,” “dares,” etc. are some of the acts that ‘threaten’ the negative face(s) of hearer(s), whereas “complaining,” “criticizing,” “disagreeing,” “raising taboo topics,” etc. are included among the acts that ‘threaten’ the positive face(s) of the hearer(s) (p. 35). Briefly, Brown and Levinson (1987) suggest that all the human beings may show a positive or a negative face during a conversation. Additionally, Brown and Levinson (1987) propose that four politeness strategies are developed to affect the hearer(s): (1) Referring to a positive politeness strategy, the speaker is aware of the fact that the wish of the hearer is “to be respected” (“Politeness,” 1997). The speaker does “the FTA on record” and “redress to” hearer’s wishes. For doing so, s/he “claims common ground” (by “conveying that the hearer is admirable” by “attending to” the hearer, by “exaggerating,” or by “intensifying interest” to the hearer; or s/he “claims in-group membership” with the hearer by “using in-group identity markers”; additionally, s/he may “claim common point[s] of view” by “seeking agreement,” “avoiding disagreement,” “asserting common ground,” or “joking”), or s/he “conveys that the speaker and the hearer are cooperators,” (by underlining that the speaker defers to the hearer by “asserting the speaker’s knowledge of and concern for the hearer’s wants,” declaring “reflexivity” by “offering,” “promising,” “being optimistic,” “including both the speaker and the hearer in the activity,” “asking for reasons,” or “asserting reciprocity” (Brown & Levinson, 1987, p. 102); (2) Using a negative politeness strategy, the speaker recognizes that the hearer must “be respected”, but assumes that s/he is “imposing on” her/him (“Politeness,” 1997). Negative politeness strategies have two dimensions. The first one is doing the “FTA on record” by “being direct,” which may lead to “being conventionally indirect”; the second one involves “redressing to the hearer’s want to be unimpinged upon” (Brown & Levinson, 1987, p. 131); (3) The bald-on-record strategies show “no effort to minimize threats to” the hearer’s face; the strategies include “emergency” calls, “task oriented”
  3. 3. International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), Vol. 6(1), 2012 | 27 and imperative “requests,” and “alerting” (“Politeness,” 1997). Besides, “Grice’s Maxims (Grice 1975)” are crucial in politeness (as cited in Brown & Levinson, 1987, p. 94). Grice (1975) argues that the speakers design their sentences in order to give messages to the hearers, and this principle consists of four rules, or maxims, which are the maxims of relevance, quality, quantity, and manner: the first maxim refers to the fact that the speaker’s messages and the contexts in which these are uttered are interrelated; the second demonstrates that the speaker should be honest and say the truth; the third implies that a saying should provide a sufficient amount of information for the continuation of the conversation; and the last one proposes that the speaker should refer to concise statements in transmitting messages (as cited in Carroll, 1994, p. 137); (4) Employing a bald-off-record strategy, the speaker does not demand anything “directly,” but indirectly, thus, the speaker makes gestures in order to communicate what s/he wants (“Politeness,” 1997). In the studies investigating the politeness strategies used by men or women, one must be aware of the differences between the discourses of men and women, when they talk to men and women from different social classes, who have different social roles (these people may include their older and younger relatives, friends, colleagues, directors, political leaders, sellers, etc.). If one intends to investigate the politeness strategies among men and women, in such a study, s/he has to find out whether men or women are more polite in certain situations, talking to diverse people, whose class and relationship with the speaker (the man or the woman, who is talking) must also be mentioned. König (1992) gives examples of linguistic terms used by Turkish people, talking about women. She mentions that there are many insults used especially for women in Turkish, such as “evde kalmış” (“old maid”), and she argues that Turks use terms like “efemine” (“effeminated”) for insulting a man. In another study, Doğançay-Aktuna and Kamışlı (2001) tested 80 native speakers of Turkish between 19 and 22 years old, and discovered that Turkish people preferred the bald-on-record strategy to the bald-off-record strategy, and they are careful at correcting the errors of the people at a higher or a lower status than them, or criticizing their ideas. In 1999, Akıncı completed her thesis on Turkish complaints; she discovered that women employed direct forms, while making complaints to directors, professors, or family members, but men referred to bald off-record strategies (Akıncı, 1999, p. 156).
  4. 4. 28 | Derya Fazila Agis However, in my study, I assume a different perspective from those of previous studies. I aim to analyze the politeness strategies employed in today’s very popular Turkish series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”). This study is based on the episodes 6, 15, and 16 of the season 1 of “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) written by Gülse Birsel. In the series, a story of a rich family living in the neighborhood of Nişantaşı of Istanbul is narrated. The members of the family of Sütçüoğlu are natives of Istanbul, living still there, in Nişantaşı, in an apartment, inherited from their old relatives, who had a restaurant where traditional Turkish dairy desserts were cooked. The father of this family, Tahsin, is retired now, and the mother of the family, İffet (whose nick name is İfo) is a housewife. The son of the family, Volkan is the director of the inherited dessert restaurant, and the daughter of the family, Aslı has been working for a journal, entitled “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) in an extremely friendly environment in a small and nice office. The boss and owner of this office, Mr. Saadettin, is a very rich man, and he had worked for a national TV channel previously. He has a spoiled daughter, called Selin, whose Turkish is not good, but full of strange words, invented by the rich youth living in Istanbul. She begins to work for his office after her return from Switzerland. She went there to get a master’s degree, but she did not do so. Other characters, working in the office, are Şesu, the officeboy, who came from the poor Eastern Turkey, but adapted himself to the living style of Istanbul, Fatoş, an attractive lady, who began to enjoy herself more, after having got divorced from her husband, the photographer and journalist Yaprak, who used to be very fat and would devour everything in the past, but became a vegeterian at a later time, Cem, the handsome administrative director of the office, who studied in the U.S.A. - there is a relationship between him and Aslı -, and Burhan, the financial director of the office. Volkan has two sincere friends: the first one is Tacettin who is the owner of a restaurant of baklava (a Turkish dessert), and loves Aslı, who never responds to his love; his second friend, and true best friend, Sertaç, is a very kind person. Besides, he is unemployed and can do whatever job he finds for earning money. Moreover, in the series, there are others, like hardworking and respectful restaurant workers, beautiful, but stupid fashion models, some guest players, such as some children, and other characters, reflecting the characteristics of people, living or working in contemporary Nişantaşı. In addition, previously, Cem was engaged with a half-American and half-Turkish lady, called Victoria, a jealous, cunning, and tricky person. Concerning the love relationships in the series, Volkan loves sometimes Selin, and sometimes Yaprak; Aslı loves Cem, and Cem loves Aslı. The ex-boyfriend of Selin, Kubilay (a strong rich person, almost a mobster, and the owner of a cheese factory) has recently been going out with Yaprak, who still loves Volkan. Sertaç admires Fatoş, Tacettin loves Aslı, and the rest looks for
  5. 5. International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), Vol. 6(1), 2012 | 29 someone special. Here are the summaries of each of the three examined episodes of the series: in the sixth episode of the first season, Cem, who likes Aslı, tells her that she is extremely serious and boring. Aslı decides to go to the midnight party he will organize in order to prove the opposite. However, it is hard to go out for her, since her parents do not permit her to go out late at night. Volkan, her brother promises her to help her, in case she arranges a dinner for him with Selin at home. She manages to persuade Selin to come to the dinner. On the other hand, their parents come home in the middle of this dinner, and they do not like Selin much. Later Volkan, hoping to become famous, accepts a job offer from the high society of Istanbul. However, he doesn’t sing there for these special people, but becomes an animator for making children enjoy themselves. Selin sees him there, and he gets ashamed of this fact. The day after Aslı learns that Cem did not come to the midnight party she went, thinking that she would not go to the party. She becomes happy about this. In the fifteenth episode of the first season, Volkan and Aslı begin to fight for living in the flat next to theirs, whose tenant has just left. Mr. Tahsin (their father) starts up a race between them. Aslı and Volkan have to prove that they are good and hardworking children. One day Mr. Tahsin wants them to earn 50 (fifty) million Turkish liras in 24 (twenty-four) hours. Aslı earns only approximately 19 (nineteen) million Turkish liras selling apple and strawberry pies, whereas Volkan earns almost nothing, playing the accordion in the street. However, he gets the required money from Selin. As Selin visits them in the evening, she explains them everything. Şesu obtains the opportunity to become a fashion model, but he learns that he will be a handsome man’s previous image: he faints. Cem tells Aslı that he got engaged, when he was in New York. Aslı cries at home. Finally, the war between Aslı and Volkan terminates, when Selin’s father hires the flat next to theirs for Selin. In the sixteenth episode of the first season, Yaprak wants to go to the seaside with Volkan. In this case, Volkan wants to become thinner and goes on a diet. After Selin’s movement to the next door, Mrs. İffet suffers from a strong headache, and the doctor prescribes her placebo pills. Selin, abandoned by Kubilay, decides to commit suicide and takes all of these pills. Yaprak, Volkan, and Aslı take her to the doctor in order to get her stomach washed. In the office Aslı organizes a party for the arrival of Victoria, Cem’s fiancée, in order to make Cem jealous. In the end, Victoria tells Volkan where and how she met Cem. Later she remembers that there is a football match on the TV, and begins to watch it with the other boys around. The dialogues betweeen all these people make the series humourous and enjoyable. It is an innovative idea to study the politeness strategies
  6. 6. 30 | Derya Fazila Agis mentioned by Brown and Levinson (1987) employed in the series. 3. METHOD In this experimental study, I used the the sixth, fifteenth and sixteenth episodes of the first season of the series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”). The sixth episode lasts 65 minutes, the fifteenth episode 69 minutes, and the sixteenth episode 66 minutes. “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) is very popular in Turkey. The language used in the series reflects that one used by Turkish youth, living in Istanbul, especially in the European (Western) side of the city. I thought that this humorous and actual use of language in the series would be an interesting subject for a linguistic inquiry, concerning politeness. Therefore, it would be a good idea to conduct a study on gender differences and language. Consequently, I decided to observe which politeness strategies were used by two groups of people (one group of females, and another group of males), as they are talking to their family members, friends, colleagues, workers, directors, and lovers. In this study, I hypothesize that in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) the following speech acts take place: 1. In “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) men employ more negative politeness strategies in their work-place than women, whereas women employ more positive politeness strategies than men in their work-place. 2. In “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), women use more negative politeness strategies than men, whereas men use more positive politeness strategies than women, talking to their older relatives, above 50 (fifty) years old. 3. In “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), middle-aged men refer to bald-off- record strategies most, while talking to their children and the friends and lovers of their children, whereas middle-aged women prefer to use positive politeness strategies most in this situation. 3.1. Participants In the sixth episode of the first season of the series, “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), Aslı, Volkan, Cem, Tahsin, İffet, Şehsuvar (Şesu), Fatoş, Sertaç, Yaprak, a waiter, Selin, Müge - a lady from the low class -, Dilara - a lady from the high society, who employs Volkan as an animator -, Pelin, the sister of Selin, and another small female child, and several other children who shout together to give orders to the animator Volkan, and Mr. Saadettin, the head of the office are present. In the fifteenth episode of the first season of the series, Aslı, Volkan, Cem, Tahsin, İffet, Şehsuvar (Şesu), Fatoş, Sertaç, Yaprak, a male street child, Tuğçe - a female fashion model -, a male, who donates money to Volkan, who plays the accordion in the street, and two female clients, who buy pies from Aslı,
  7. 7. International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), Vol. 6(1), 2012 | 31 take part. In the sixteenth episode of the first season of the series, the protagonists Aslı, Volkan, Cem, Tahsin, İffet, Şehsuvar (Şesu), Fatoş, Sertaç, Yaprak, and Selin occur togeher with Victoria, Tacettin, the waiter, and Mr. Saadettin. I gathered the data from all of the people, who talk, thus, totally from thirteen females and nine males. Only İffet, Tahsin, and Mr. Saadettin are older than 50 years old, but Aslı, Volkan, Cem, Şehsuvar, Fatoş, Sertaç, Yaprak, Tuğçe, Victoria, the male donor, and Tacettin are in their twenties, thirties, or forties. The children in these episodes are between 5 and 12 years old. 3.2. Data The data I gathered from the series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) contain totally 761 utterances where politeness strategies are employed. I separated the utterances of men from those of women, and I divided these utterances into four groups in accordance with the politeness strategies, cited by Brown and Levinson (1987). These four major groups of politeness strategies include the strategies of positive politeness, negative politeness, bald-on-record, and bald-off-record. 3.3. Statistical Technique I used Chi-Square test results, as this statistical technique is the best one for the comparison of two groups for testing two hypotheses. I used the automatic Chi-Square calculator provided by the linguistics department of Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in the United States of America, available at: http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/ballc/Ibtools/Ib_chi.html. 4. Results and Discussion First of all, I wanted to compare which strategies were employed by whom in the series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”). The number of the positive, negative, bald-on-record, and bald-off-record strategies employed by women and men is shown in Chart 1. One sees that women and men used positive politeness (PP) strategies, and they employed positive politeness strategies more than the other three strategies. However, men used more negative politeness (NP) and bald-on-record and bald-off-record strategies than women.
  8. 8. 32 | Derya Fazila Agis 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 WOMEN MEN NP PP BALD-ON- RECORD BALD-OFF- RECORD Chart 1. Generally employed politeness strategies by women and men in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”). I also wanted to test the hypothesis that women are more polite than men, but the results of the Chi-Square test I conducted indicate that such a hypothesis is not valid, as different people belonging to two different gender groups employed different strategies in the same circumstances (you can see Table 1 below). Women employed more positive politeness strategies than men, but men employed more negative politeness, bald-on-record and bald- off-record strategies than them. Totally, men employed more politeness strategies than women in the study. I cannot say that women are more polite than men, since the result of the Chi-Square test is not significant. Table 1 Chi-Square results of the generally employed politeness strategies in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) NP PP BALD-ON-RECORD BALD-OFF-RECORD TOTAL WOMEN 31 300 37 9 377 MEN 40 282 44 18 384 TOTAL 71 582 81 27 761 Degrees of freedom: 3; Chi-Square = 5.238538648994; for significance at the .05 level, the Chi-Square should be greater than or equal to 7.82. The distribution is not significant; p is less than or equal to 0.20. In “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), men employ more negative politeness strategies in the work-place than women, whereas women employ more positive politeness strategies than men. I can see this not only in Chart 2, but also in Table 2.
  9. 9. International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), Vol. 6(1), 2012 | 33 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 NP PP WOMEN MEN Chart 2. Politeness strategies employed in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) by women and men in the work-place The Chi-Square test result for our first hypothesis is significant (p ≤ 0.01), and our hypothesis is valid with this Chi-Square. Table 2 Chi-Square test results of the politeness strategies employed in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) by women and men in the work-place NP PP TOTAL WOMEN 6 72 78 MEN 24 68 92 TOTAL 30 140 170 Degrees of freedom: 1; Chi-Square = 9.82799808886766; p is less than or equal to 0.01. The distribution is significant. In the series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), women use more negative politeness strategies than men, but men use more positive politeness strategies than women, talking to their older relatives, above 50 (fifty) years old. Our hypothesis has been accepted. The number of politeness strategies used most by women and men is shown in Chart 3. Additionally, the results of the Chi-Square test in Table 3 indicate that my hypothesis is valid (p ≤ 0.05).
  10. 10. 34 | Derya Fazila Agis 0 10 20 30 40 50 NP PP WOMEN MEN Chart 3. Politeness strategies employed in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) by women and men, talking to older people who are above 50 years old Table 3 Chi-Square test results of the politeness strategies employed in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) by women and men, talking to older people,who are above 50 years old NP PP TOTAL WOMEN 17 36 53 MEN 7 41 48 TOTAL 24 77 101 Degrees of freedom: 1; Chi-Square = 4.25424328357701; p is less than or equal to 0.05. The distribution is significant. In “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), middle-aged men refer to bald-off- record strategies, while talking to their children and the friends and the lovers of their children; however, mostly, middle-aged women prefer to use positive politeness strategies. The highest number of the positive politeness strategies shown in Chart 4 belongs to those employed by women, and only one bald-off-record strategy is employed by a woman, talking to a younger person.
  11. 11. International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), Vol. 6(1), 2012 | 35 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 BALD-OFF- RECORD PP WOMEN MEN Chart 4. Politeness strategies employed in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) by women and men, talking to young people Table 4 shows that my last hypothesis is also valid with a significant distribution (p ≤ 0.01). In “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), women and men employ different politeness strategies in the same circumstances towards the same people. Table 4 Chi-Square test results of the politeness strategies employed in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) by women and men, talking to younger people BALD-OFF-RECORD PP TOTAL WOMEN 1 40 41 MEN 5 17 22 TOTAL 6 57 63 Degrees of freedom: 1; Chi-Square: 6.83927529466682; p is less than or equal to 0.01. The distribution is significant. In the study, I found that in “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”), men use more negative politeness strategies than women in the work-place, who use more positive-politeness strategies in the work-place, instead. Here are some examples: in (1), Şesu employs the negative politeness strategy of giving deference by using honorifics. The use of the formal second person plural ‘you’ as a secret subject and its use in the conjugation of the present tense in the verb “hoşgeldiniz” indicate seriousness and social distance, referring to just one person, together with the word of “Bey” (“Mr.”) which makes this statement a negative politeness strategy. (1) Şesu: Aslı’nın arkadaş klubüne hoşgeldiniz,  Cem Bey. (“Welcome to the friendship club of Aslı,  Mr. Cem”) In (2), Yaprak works with Tuğçe, the model. She takes her photos to publish
  12. 12. 36 | Derya Fazila Agis them in the journal, but she does not prefer to use a negative politeness strategy. She uses a positive politeness strategy addressing the model with her name without adding honorifics; however, using the word “biraz” (“a little”), she employs a negative politeness strategy, minimizing the imposition. (2) Yaprak: Tuğçe, (pause) biraz şuraya kayar mısın? (“Tuğçe, (pause) can you inch over a little?”) In (3), Aslı apologizes her clients, selling pies, and her brother tries to prevent her work by warning the clients about the unhealthiness of the pies. Her tactics of negative politeness are those of admitting the impingement and just apologizing. (3) Aslı: Kusura bakmayın ... (“Disregard my mistake!” is a Turkish expression equal to “I beg your pardon!”). However, in (4), Şesu uses a positive politeness tactic in the office, talking to his colleague Fatoş; he exaggerates by saying, “çok nonik” (“very beautiful”; “nonik” is a jargon word used by the Turkish male models that means beautiful), and employs a friendly naming tactic “kız” (“girl”). (4) Şesu: Ay, (pause) kız, kolyen çok nonik... (“Ay, (pause) girl, your necklace is very beautiful...”) These are tactics employed in the work-place in the series. However, in such circumstances, men employ more negative politeness strategies than women. Despite this, sometimes the characters forget that they are in their work- place, as in (4). Şesu regards Fatoş as a real friend. In general, women use both negative and positive politeness strategies in their sentences, as in (2). Moreover, women use more negative politeness strategies than men, talking to the middle-aged people in their families, or around themselves. Selin apologizes by saying, “ya... çok affedersiniz” (“ah... I am very sorry”) talking to Tahsin and İffet in (5). (5) Selin: . . . ya çok affedersiniz. (“ahh... I am very sorry”) However, in (6), using an inclusive form, Volkan employs a positive politeness strategy. (6) Sicilya usülu, (pause) değil mi, babacım? (...) (“It is Sicilian style, (pause) isn’t it, my dear father?”) Additionally, in (7), Aslı seeks agreement with the verb “to hope” (“umut etmek”), but here she employs also a negative politeness strategy with the use of the second person plural referring to a single person, who is her father. (7) Aslı: Babacım, anlayış göstereceginizi umut ediyorum. (“My dear father, I hope you – formal ‘you’ - will understand me.”)
  13. 13. International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), Vol. 6(1), 2012 | 37 As our statistical findings show, in the series women use more positive politeness strategies than men, talking to younger people, but men use bald- off-record strategies in this case. However, in (8) İffet violates the maxim of quantity and quality of Grice. She is ironic, and she overgeneralizes. Thus, she employs a bald-off-record strategy just once, talking to her children. She does not say the truth and exaggerates her unreal unhappiness about the absence of Selin whom she detests. (8) İffet: . . . Selin gelmedi bu gece... Ha, pek üzüldüm doğrusu. Gelmeyince de eksikliği hissediyorum... Vallahi! (“Selin did not come tonight. Hmm, I am really very sad. I also feel her absence, when she does not come... Honestly!”) In (9), Tahsin congratulates Aslı by saying “Aferin!” (“Well done!”). Men use brief statements using positive politeness strategies towards their children. (9) Tahsin: Aferin! ... (“Well done!”) However, in (10), İffet expresses her love for Aslı with a positive politeness strategy by insinuating familiarity with words like “canım” (“my dear”), “kızım” (“my daughter”), and “evladım” (“my child”), and the first person possessive pronoun “benim” (“mine”). While Aslı massages her, she expresses that she is happy about this. (10) İffet: Ah, canım kızım benim. Hayırlı evladım. (“Ah, my dear daughter. My useful child.”) However, Tahsin uses several idioms and expressions full of metaphors, talking to his children. In (11), he claims that he does not blaim Aslı for not having got married until now. He implies that it is the destiny that shapes our life. Therefore, a husband for Aslı may arrive from any place, if a marriage is present in her own destiny. The idiom violates the maxim of manner, for being ambigous and hard to understand. Tahsin always refers to ambigous expressions, talking to his children. However, İffet refers to positive politeness strategies. (11) Tahsin: Kısmetse gelir elden Yemen’den. (“If it is in one’s destiny, it will come from abroad, from Yemen.”) 5. Conclusion To conclude, this study is crucial in showing how Turkish people in the series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”) employ the politeness strategies of Brown and Levinson (1987) in their discourses. The language used by the characters of the series is similar to that used in the neighborhood of Nişantaşı in Istanbul. The characters represent successfully the people living there. The middle-aged people of Nişantaşı are very serious and traditional, just like Tahsin and İffet. The series reflects exactly the society of Nişantaşı. For this
  14. 14. 38 | Derya Fazila Agis reason, I analyzed the language use in the series “Avrupa Yakası” (“European Side”). Consequently, I arrived to the conclusion that women and men employ different politeness strategies in the same places and circumstances, talking to the same people. I cannot say that one gender group is more polite than the other. The Author Derya Fazila Agis (E-mail: deryaagis@gmail.com) is an independent scholar and a Master’s student in the department of Social Anthropology at the Middle East Technical University. She earned her B.A. in Italian Language and Literature from Ankara University in 1999, becoming the valedictorian of the department. She attended a post-graduate course in Literary Translation at the University of Bari in 2002, and she earned her M.A. in English Linguistics from Hacettepe University in 2007. She worked as a senior lecturer in the Department of Translation Studies at Girne American University and as a visiting scholar in the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University. References Akıncı, S. (1999). An Analysis of Complaints in Terms of Politeness in Turkish. Unpublished master’s thesis. Ankara: Hacettepe University. Brown, P. and Levinson, S. (1987). Politeness – Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Carroll, D. (1994). Psychology of Language. California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. Doğançay-Aktuna, S., and Kamışlı, S. (2001). "Linguistics of Power and Politeness in Turkish: Revelations from Speech Acts." Linguistic Politeness across Boundaries: The case of Greek and Turkish. Ed. Arin Bayraktaroglu. Philadelphia, PA, USA: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 75-104. König, G. (1992). “Dil ve Cins: Kadın ve Erkeklerin Dil Kullanımı.” Dilbilim Araştırmaları, 25-35. Morand, D. and Ocker, R. J. (2003). “Politeness Theory and Computer- Mediated Communication: A Sociolinguistic Approach to Analyzing Relational Messages.” Proceedings of the 36th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Retrieved October 10, 2006, from http://csdl2.computer.org/persagen/DLAbsToc.jsp?resourcePath=/dl/p roceedings/&toc=comp/proceedings/hicss/2003/1874/01/1874toc.xml &DOI=10.1109/HICSS.2003.1173660 Politeness. (February 25, 1997). Sociolinguistics Course. University of Oregon,
  15. 15. International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), Vol. 6(1), 2012 | 39 Retrieved October 30, 2006, from http://logos.uoregon.edu/explore/ socioling/politeness.html A WEBPAGE WHERE A PERSON CAN DOWNLOAD THE EPISODES OF THE SERIES “AVRUPA YAKASI” [“THE EUROPEAN SIDE”] : “Avrupa Yakası” [“European Side”]: http://www.avrupayakasi.com/kategori-bolumler-komik-videolari.html

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