“Adunque piacevol costume è il favellare e lo star cheto ciascuno,

quando la volta viene allui”: principi di conversazione cortese


Giovanna Alfonzetti​ 


Within the studies on historical (im)politeness, books of manners are precious sources because their meta-discourse allows to illustrate communicative patterns considered polite in different historical times, otherwise no easily to access. Here I will try to pinpoint some of the principles that regulate conversation in a corpus of Italian books of manners – from the architext by Giovanni Della Casa (1558) until the first postwar time. The aim is that of finding out possible persistences and/or differences among texts from different times. Furthermore, the normative rules of books of manners will be compared with the descriptvie principles of the classical theoretical models on politeness (Lakoff 1978, Leech 1983; Brown & Levinson 1987, ecc.).


Keywords: politeness • conversation • cooperation • books of manners • non-verbal communication

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