Volume 11 (2006) Pages 15-25
In the interpersonal communication of our native language, we naturally select the speech style most appropriate for the current situation, though mostly we do that subconsciously. When learning English through movies, we can find hedging and boosting devices are creating the pragmatic effect of our utterances, and they contribute to constituting the speech style most suitable for natural communication. Thus considering this, we have chosen tags as our research topic, since they are typical instances of both hedging and boosting devices, and analyzed their behaviors through movies. As a result, we found, when they are effectively used as positive politeness strategies (together with their hedging and boosting characteristics), they constitute the convergence speech style which promotes friendly relationship between the interlocutors. We also noticed they can be used to create the divergence speech style by which we can maintain face/our own self-esteem. Accordingly, if we can learn the effective use of tags, keeping the balance between convergence and divergence speech styles, we can be successful in any interpersonal communication.