Politeness is an integral part of human language variation, e.g. consider the difference in the pragmatic effect of realizing the same communicative goal with either “Get me a glass of water mate! ” or “I wonder if I could possibly have some water please? ” This paper presents POLLy (Politeness for Language Learning), a system which combines a natural language generator with an AI Planner to model Brown and Levinson’s theory of politeness (B&L) in collaborative taskoriented dialogue, with the ultimate goal of providing a fun and stimulating environment for learning English as a second language. An evaluation of politeness perceptions of POLLy’s output shows that: (1) perceptions are generally consistent with B&L’s predictions for choice of form and for discourse situation, i.e. utterances to strangers need to be much more polite than those to friends ; (2) our indirect strategies which should be the politest forms, are seen as the rudest ; and (3) English and Indian native speakers of English have different perceptions of the level of politeness needed to mitigate particular face threats
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