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Rechtfertigung in der Interaktion:
face-work und das Recht auf Rechtfertigung
(dargestellt an russischen literarischen Beispielen)

Sabine Borovanská

The focus of the present paper lies on the interactional level of justifications. A speaker can react to a reproach by using a justification, which means that he or she wants to show why the incriminated action was actually good or right. In the present paper I do not investigate the structure of arguments in justifications but I try to answer the following questions: Does a justification affect the relationship of the interactants? Who justifies his actions to whom? Can everybody accomplish his right to justification? Forst (2007) speaks of a basic right to justification; he points out that justice can only be achieved by respecting the other’s right to justification. The ability to justify is essential for and characteristic of human beings. According to Forst (2004, 34) two main principles are crucial vindicatory criteria: reciprocity and universality. It can be shown for a Russian literary corpus that refusing these principles thwarts the acceptability of a justification. Justifications can also have an impact on the image or face of the interactants. With the help of the face-theory by Brown/Levinson (1987) justifications can be described as both face-saving and face-threatening. A way to avoid responsibility for one’s action (and hence face-saving) is to blame the circumstances which can be expressed by using nel’zja.

Linguistische Beiträge zur Slavistik: XIX. JungslavistInnen-Treffen in Berlin, 16.–18. Dezember 2010. Hg. Luka Szucsich, Natalia Gagarina, Elena Gorishneva und Joanna Leszkowicz. München, Berlin, Washington: Sagner 2012 (Specimina Philologiae Slavicae, 171). 29–47.