The Use of Politeness at the Beginning and End of Acceptance Speeches for the Cervantes Prize


  • Rosa Martín Gascueña Complutense University of Madrid



Cervantes Prizes, Politeness, Sequence


This study focuses on the politeness used in the acceptance speeches of all winners of the Cervantes Prize, since its origins in 1976 until 2017. The objective is to carry out a quantitative and qualitative study to verify if the use of the forms of politeness at the beginning and end of these acceptance discourses is related to some sociolinguistic variables, such as the origin of the author, sex, and ideology, and if diachronic changes have taken place. The research methodology is based on three notions: discourse, courtesy and gender. We start from a pragmatic and interactive approach to discourse, conceived as a linguistic cognitive process and as a social linguistic product (Van Dijk 2012). Regarding politeness from a functional point of view is an individual and group identity strategy, which highlights the social image of a person and reinforces the individual one (Bravo 2004), it is also the backbone of these discourses. They respond to a prototypical model (Bajtin, 1982) of protocolar discourse, written to be read in front of an institutional audience that recognizes its literary and professional value. All these discourses have in common semantic-pragmatic characteristics, although the fact of being elaborated by masters of the language and literature of Spain and Latin America makes them personal, original and unique.


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How to Cite

Martín Gascueña, R. (2019). The Use of Politeness at the Beginning and End of Acceptance Speeches for the Cervantes Prize. Verba Hispanica, 26(1), 79–98.