Hedging in Interview Questions as a Politeness Strategy

  • Estabraq R. Almusaway College of Basic Education / Mustansiriya University
  • Hussein. D. Al-Hassnawi College of Arts/University of Kufa
  • Maarif J. Thamir College of Translation and Languages/University of Kufa
Keywords: hedging, politeness, and interview questions


This research aims at analyzing the phenomenon of hedging used in interview questions. Generally speaking, hedging is one of the most important techniques in speaking by which utterances sound more tactful and, thus, accepted by the addressees. The object of this paper is to investigate hedges in three interviews with some public figures (Queen Rania, Giorgio Armani, and Prince William). In doing so, the modal of hedges taxonomy has been adopted in classifying hedges. It is suggested that modal auxiliary verbs are the widely used hedging device by interviewers as it is a perfect tool for showing politeness. For modal auxiliary verbs are thought to be an indirect way of expressing thoughts and opinions, and hence work as dual protection for both faces of the speaker and that of the addressee as well.

The present study is divided into two parts: part one includes the concept of hedging and its types in addition some related issues like, politeness and interview questions, whereas the second part embraces the methodology, data analysis and results. It is found that modal auxiliary verbs are used abundantly as a basic hedge type in asking questions during interviews


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How to Cite
E. R. Almusaway, H. D. Al-Hassnawi, and M. J. Thamir, “ Hedging in Interview Questions as a Politeness Strategy”, JUBH, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 198 - 219, Dec. 2019.