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Attitudes, or a person’s internal/mental beliefs about a specific situation, object or concept can greatly influence behaviors. This truth also applies to linguistic choices made by second language students. Their low level of knowledge of cross-cultural differences as well as pragmatic competence intertwined with inner norms and attitude towards politeness can result in producing the discourse which could not be considered appropriate. The fact of using and learning a second language (being bilingual or multilingual) may influence the level of politeness. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the differences existing in the scope of politeness revealed in the written, contrastive (Polish-English) discourse. The corpus under investigation encompasses seventy six emails written in the two languages by English philology students of teachers faculty. The analysis focuses on the level of politeness as exhibited through various forms of hedges and mitigations used both in the Polish and English language.
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