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Barsukova M. I., Rodionova T. V. The means of expressing the category of politeness in medical discourse (On the material of the doctor and patient speech communication). Izvestiya of Saratov University. Philology. Journalism, 2022, vol. 22, iss. 4, pp. 377-384. DOI:

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The means of expressing the category of politeness in medical discourse (On the material of the doctor and patient speech communication)

The article considers the communicative category of politeness and defi nes the role of this category in the process of professional doctor-patient communication. The category of politeness functions in the form of speech etiquette and is obligatory in doctor-patient conversations. The authors have analyzed the means of realization of speech etiquette and politeness in situations of professional medical communication, and determined those which are most frequently used in strategies of medical discourse. The hypothesis of the investigation is as follows: the effi ciency of the dialogue created and planned by the doctor largely depends on following ethical norms of communication, which certainly is one of manifestations of politeness. The research is based on recorded materials of medical discourse in professional settings of healthcare institutions in the form of spontaneous conversations of doctors with patients. The authors prove that a polite behavior is manifested not only in the usage of speech etiquette patterns, but also in the means of expressing the doctor’s attitude and his speech address. The usage of euphemisms is associated with the doctor’s constant internal concern and care for the interlocutor, which is estimated as a manifestation of respect for the patient. Regarding the fact that speech taboos are socially conditioned, it is important to understand that the choice of an appropriate word depends not only on the level of the doctor’s speech culture, but also on the patient’s social and professional status, his or her religious beliefs, individual (personal) stability. Using other conversational elements (and extra-content components when initiating the conversation) in doctorpatient dialogues helps to create trusting relationships, the atmosphere of relaxed and unaff ected communication, to ensure easy and natural speech. Speech etiquette and politeness contribute to achieving effi cient professional communication. The most important role belongs to contact establishing means, the choice of which depends on the doctor’s communicative habits and peculiarities of the situation of communication.


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