An Analysis of Negative Politeness Strategies as Found in the Movie Series The Lord of The Rings Movie


  • Lina Wati
  • Yusrita Yanti
  • Themmy Thamrin


Politeness strategies refer to communication strategies used by people in interaction
or communication to show their good manners and usually consider the faces of the
interacting parties. It is one of the ways a person interacts with others by attending to
politeness strategies to create the efficient, non-antagonistic, and mutually cooperative
exchange of idea, feelings, and usually consider to the faces of the interacting parties. There
are four types of politeness strategies, they are bald on record, positive politeness, negative
politeness and off the record.But for this resrearch writer only focuses on negative
politeness strategies in the movie series of The Lord of The Rings movie.
Negative politeness is expression from the speakers to the hearers with minimizing
of imposition.Negative politeness is addresser’s recognizes and respects the hearer’s
negative face wants and will not (or only minimally) interfere with the hearer’s freedom of
action. The speakers can benefit by using the negative politeness,(1), the speakers show the
respect and deference to the hearer in return for FTA , (2) avoid incurring a future debt, (3)
to maintain social distance, (4) and avoid the threat of advancing familiarity towards the
hearer. There are ten strategies of negative politeness according to Brown and Levinson
(1987). They are be conventionally indirect, question hedge, be pessimistic, minimize
imposition, give deference, apologize, impersonalize things (Speaker and Hearer), state the
FTA as general rule, go on record incurring a debt, and nominalization
In this research, the writers applied Brown and Levinson’s theory (1987) to analyze
negative politeness strategies that is used by the characters in the movie. Negative
politeness strategies are used to redressing hearer's negative face and emphasize prevention
of imposition on the hearer.In other word, negative politeness is addresser’s respect
towards the addressee giving him/her freedom to action.
The method used in this study is qualitative method.A qualitative method is
research strategy that indicates the relationship between theory and research a usually
emphasizes on how theories were generated by using word not numeric (Sudaryanto1993;
Miles&Huberman,1994).The data of the research were taken from the movie series of The
Lord of The Rings movie. From the movie, the writer observed a number of utterances that
express the negative politeness strategies that are used by the characters. The writer used
two steps to collect the data, they are re-watching and note taking. During the writer
watching the movie, the writer also did note taking to get about the utterance, words and
phrase from the movie which includes from the negative politeness strategies. Then the
writer will analyze the data from the movie with give the hedges the sentences, word, and
phrase includes about politeness strategies. And arrange the sentence, word, and phrase
which has been marked in the negative politeness.
Furthermore, there are six strategies of negative politeness used in the movie series.
They are: (1) question hedge,(2) give deference, (3) apologize,(4) impersonalize,(5) state
the FTA as a general rule,and (6) go on record.Then, the writer also foundthe hedges used
by the characters to show the negative politeness strategies that function to maximize the
negative politeness strategies to avoid Face Threatening Acts (FTA) ,such as;please,sir,and
mr. Based on the findings above, the writer found three of negative politeness strategies
that are often used by characters in the movie, they are; give deference strategy, apologize
strategy, and go on record strategy with different form hedges to maximize the negative
politeness strategies. There are three form of hedges used to show the negative politeness
strategies, they are; word, phrase, and sentence. The writer also found the hedges that
function to maximize the utterances by actors in the movie.The hedges can be seen from
the conversation which is used by actors in the movie which relate with the context. The
actors used difference hedges to show the negative politeness strategies. In addition, the
writers get the result of category of hedges in the movie series of The Lord of The Rings
movie.In conclusion, movie is one of media that have many topics that can be analyzed,
one of them is negative politeness. Politeness strategy depends on the context influenced in
social interaction. The hearer must know the context to understand what the speaker’s
intention. Context is related with situation and condition where the dialogue happened. In
the movie, there are several context influence the characters in having dialogues.
Finally, this research can be used as an inspiration to do the further research about
politeness strategy in interpersonal communication.
Keyword: politeness strategies, negative politeness strategies, context

Author Biography

Lina Wati

Jurusan Sastra Asia Timur