The Linguistic Behaviour of Characters in the Syrian TV Series Bab Al-Hara: A Case Study

Mohammed Al-Badawi


This study investigates the linguistic behaviour of the character Abu Jawdat, the chief police officer, with minor characters such as Abu Satoor and Subhi, and the major character of Muataz, in the fifth season of the Syrian TV series, Bab Al-Hara. In particular, it studies the linguistic behaviour of the above mentioned characters in light of (im)politeness theories, specifically Brown and Levinson’s (1987) model of politeness and Culpeper’s (1996) framework of impoliteness as well as Grice’s (1975) cooperative principles and its maxims. The data of the study was transcribed in situations of police interrogations conducted by Abu Jawdat with Abu Satoor, Subhi and Muataz. The analysis of the selected chunks of conversation revealed that the change in the interactive linguistic behaviour of the characters can be explained by means of (im)politeness theories. Normally characters that possess power will get hold of the conversational floor and will have more chances to attack face.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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