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A Study of Conflict Talk among Family Members in Breeders Based on the Impoliteness Theory

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DOI: 10.23977/langl.2024.070422 | Downloads: 9 | Views: 166


Yinping Lang 1, Kehang Wang 2, Li Zhang 1


1 The School of Foreign Studies, Anhui Xinhua University, Hefei, Anhui, China
2 Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China

Corresponding Author

Li Zhang


In our daily interactions, the employment of impolite language often serves as a significant catalyst for conflict. According to this fact, it is not groundless that this paper utilizes impoliteness theory proposed by Bousfield (2008) to analyze conflict discourse. On the basis of Bousfield’s impoliteness theory, this paper studies the conflict discourse in the American series Breeders, which gives a real portrayal of family life and includes many a family contradiction. This paper categorizes the various impolite utterances employed by speakers and the corresponding response patterns exhibited by listeners within conflict discourse, aiming to deepen our understanding of conflict communication in familial settings. After detailed data analysis and discussion, this study draws the following conclusions: firstly, this thesis finds nine impoliteness output strategies used in Breeders, including be uninterested and unconcerned, disassociate from the other, criticize, sarcasm, command, use taboo words, seek disagreement or avoid agreement, snub, hinder or block. In addition, three response patterns of impoliteness discourse are fully reflected in conflict discourse of this series. Thirdly, the pragmatic functions of impoliteness strategies in conflict discourse include negotiation, the expression of emotions, and the establishment of boundaries.


Conflict Discourse, Impoliteness Theory, Impoliteness Output Strategies and Response Patterns, Breeders


Yinping Lang, Kehang Wang, Li Zhang, A Study of Conflict Talk among Family Members in Breeders Based on the Impoliteness Theory. Lecture Notes on Language and Literature (2024) Vol. 7: 142-154. DOI:


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