Compliments and compliment responses in Turkish and American English: a contrastive pragmatics study of a facebook corpus

Dörtkulak, Funda
This corpus-driven study aims at analyzing Turkish and American interactants’ monolingual compliment exchanges in Facebook photo comments to reveal cross-cultural and gender-based tendencies. For this purpose, a corpus of 2000 compliment exchanges were compiled evenly from the four target groups (TF, TM, AEF, AEM). The analyses were based on the classification of compliment responses and structural, topical and functional patterns of compliments in Nvivo 11 and intercultural and gender-based intracultural comparisons in SPSS 22. The findings revealed that all informant groups pay more compliments to the people of their own gender, with women paying more compliments overall. The structural and lexical formulae evident in American data are not applicable for Turkish, which carry more idiolectical tendencies. Turkish and American male and female compliments revealed striking similarities in terms of topical and functional distribution with more than 80% of the data functioning as approval/admiration compliments. Compliment responses have been analyzed in two ways: according to modes and classification of the content of the verbal responses. The button like and verbal appreciation tokens are the most common response strategies in both datasets. Unique cultural elements were identified for Turkish, including wishes to God, belief in the evil eye and the use of sarcastic utterances and negatively loaded words. The findings suggest that compliments in different languages and modes of communication necessitate further research and has much to contribute to the field of pragmatics.


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Citation Formats
F. Dörtkulak, “Compliments and compliment responses in Turkish and American English: a contrastive pragmatics study of a facebook corpus,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2017.