A Sociopragmatic Analysis of Compliment Responses in Persian

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Yazd University

Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of a study designed to investigate the cultural and social complexities governing the compliment responses among the Persian native speakers. 200 Persian respondents took a 24-item Discourse Completion Task (DCT) while 15 native field workers were also set responsible for collecting the examples of complimenting exchanges they either observed or participated in. The results suggested a significant effect for the treated intervening social variables of age, gender, educational background, social distance, and relative power as well as compliment topics in determining the type of compliment response. The responses were further suggestive of the contextual effects of the three systems of hierarchical, solidarity and deferential as well as a newly coined system as kinship system.     

Keywords


Billmyer, K. (1990). “I really like your lifestyle”: ESL learners learning how to compliment. Penn Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 6 (2), 31-48. 

Boori, A. A. (1994). Semantic and syntactic patterning of Persian compliments and compliment responses: A sociolinguistic study with pedagogical implications. (Master’s Thesis). Isfahan University.

Brown, P., & Levinson, S. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chen, R. (1993). Responding to compliments: A contrastive study of politeness strategies between American English and Chinese speakers. Journal of Pragmatics, 20, 49-75.

Chiang, B., & Pochtrager, F. (1993). A pilot study of compliment responses of American-born English speakers and Chinese-born English speakers. (ERIC_NO: ED356649).

Golato, A. (2005). Compliments and compliment responses: Grammatical structure and sequential organization. London: John Benjamins.

Heidari, M. A., Rezazadeh, M. & Eslami Rasekh, A. (2009). A contrastive study of compliment responses among male and female Iranian teenage EFL learners. The International Journal of Language, Society and Culture, 29, 18-31.

Herbert, R. K. (1990). Sex-based differences in compliment behavior. Language in Society, 19, 201-224.

Holmes, J. (1988). Paying compliments: A sex preferential politeness strategy. Journal of Pragmatics, 12, 445-465.

Leech, G. (1983). Principles of pragmatics. New York: Longman.

Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. (2001). Intercultural communication (2nd ed.). Maiden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

Sharifian, F. (2008). Cultural schemas in L1 and L2 compliment responses: A study of Persian-speaking learners of English. Journal of Politeness Research, 4, 55-80.

Wolfson, N. (1983). An empirically based analysis of complimenting in English. In N. Wolfson & E. Judd (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language acquisition (pp. 82-95). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Yamini, H. (1996). A sociolinguistic study of sex-based differences in Persian compliment patterns (Master’s Thesis). Shiraz University.

Yu, M. Ch. (2005). Sociolinguistic competence in the complimenting act of native Chinese and American English speakers: A mirror of cultural value. Language and Speech, 48 (1), 91-119.