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This article brings into dialogue Kierkegaard and modern sociolinguistics.
A common starting point is provided by focussing on indirect communication. For what occurs between meaning and saying? And to what extent can social relations be influenced by indirect communication? Included is the survey by P. Brown and S.C. Levinson, Politeness. Some universals in language usage (1987) as well as latest studies on impoliteness that consider strategies of confl ict avoiding communication. Kierkegaard also shows that human communication has to include the receiver. Nevertheless, his thoughts on communication are at the same time fundamentally embedded in analyses of human selfconception. Reflections upon these thoughts are then addressed using Kierkegaard’s work, The Sickness Unto Death. In these selected encounters between Kierkegaard and sociolinguistics, ethical challenges of speech acts are approached as topic of a potential dialogue.