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Compliment responses of female German and Italian university students: a contrastive study

Payne, S. (2013) Compliment responses of female German and Italian university students: a contrastive study. Language Studies Working Papers, 5. pp. 22-31. ISSN 2040-3461

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Official URL: https://www.reading.ac.uk/elal/our-research/LSWP

Abstract/Summary

This paper presents the results of an empirical contrastive analysis of compliment responses between female interlocutors in Germany and Italy. Drawing on previous research on compliment behaviour in Western cultures, the study examines new data from 24 native German speakers and 28 native Italian speakers at undergraduate level, elicited by a Discourse Completion Task comprising nine compliment situations. The results indicate some notable differences in compliment behaviour between the two cultures. Positive politeness appears to play more of a role in Italian responses, as the Italian participants tended to favour agreement strategies. In comparison, German respondents tended to favour qualification strategies, suggesting that negative politeness plays more of a role in their compliment behaviour. The results from this paper could be useful in forming initial hypotheses for more in-depth research based on observations of natural speech in these cultures.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > German
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > Italian
ID Code:92463
Publisher:University of Reading

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