Discussions on Swiss and German Politeness in Online Sources

Locher, Miriam A. and Luginbühl, Martin. (2019) Discussions on Swiss and German Politeness in Online Sources. In: From Speech Acts to Lay Understandings of Politeness: Multilingual and Multicultural Perspectives. Cambridge, pp. 250-279.

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This paper explores language ideologies on Swiss and German politeness through a selection of online comments on newspaper articles and one thread of a discussion forum of a magazine. Since Switzerland joined the European Free Movement of People Agreement in 2004, the immigration from Germany increased significantly with a peak in 2008 (46'296 German immigrants, see endnote to Plate, 2013). Around that time different media outlets published articles with an anti-German stance, reporting on the unpopularity of Germans in Switzerland with polls indicating that most Swiss people did not like Germans etc. One of the biggest newspapers even published an article series with the title "Reizthema Deutsche" ('hot-button topic Germans', Herbermann, 2007). One important topic in this coverage was inadequate or even impolite behavior of Germans living in Switzerland, a topic that also was reflected in a campaign ad by the city of Zurich in 2010 targeting a better integration of foreigners living in Zurich. One of these ads was clearly addressed at Germans since a stereotypically German way of ordering something in a restaurant or bakery was quoted. In contrast to the Swiss version, which is usually mitigated, the German version is direct without any hedges. The slogan reads: "Sag doch statt 'ich krieg dann mal!' lieber 'Bitte könnte ich vielleicht'" ('Instead of 'I'll get!' you might rather say 'Could I perhaps have''). Against this backdrop, our analysis is interested in how (im)polite behavior of Germans and Swiss is discussed in recent online commentaries, with a special focus on posts commenting on national differences.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Deutsche Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Germanistische Linguistik (Luginbühl)
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > English Linguistics (Locher)
UniBasel Contributors:Locher, Miriam A. and Luginbühl, Martin
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Publisher:Cambrdige University Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
Last Modified:09 Jun 2020 14:54
Deposited On:09 Jun 2020 14:54

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