Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Compliment responses among native and non-native English speakers: Evidence of pragmatic transfer from Swedish into English
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The study of appropriateness in language use is part of pragmatics, and how speakers give and respond to complements is a source of data in such studies. Compliments are strategies to explicitly or implicitly ascribe qualities that are mutually appreciated by the speaker and the addressee of a compliment. When individuals from different cultures interact in conversations, including the giving and receiving of compliments, and their behaviour is based on different conventions, it may lead to misunderstandings. Earlier studies (Cedar, 2006 & Sharifian, 2005, 2008) suggest that pragmatic transfer can cause cross-cultural misunderstanding. Second language users seem to transfer first language pragmatic rules into second language domains. This study will examine whether pragmatic transfer occurs in Swedish as first language into English as a second language in compliment responses. It will be assumed that pragmatic conventions are influenced by both linguistic and social norms. A Discourse completion task was used in order to obtain the data. The Discourse completion task consisted of one questionnaire in English, and one translated into Swedish, with situations where a compliment was given and the participant was instructed to imagine him/herself in that situation and give their most probable response to that compliment. The results showed that there was no significant difference between compliment responses given in Swedish and those given in English by native Swedish speakers. Thus, pragmatic transfer could have occurred. The Swedish participants’ compliment responses were also compared to compliment responses of Scottish English L1 speakers. The results are discussed in relation to other studies of pragmatic transfer in compliment responses, and suggestions for future research are considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 28 p.
Keyword [en]
Compliment responses, Swedish, English, Pragmatic transfer, Social norms.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36990OAI: diva2:291576

Available from: 2010-02-10 Created: 2010-02-02 Last updated: 2010-02-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1062 kB)5331 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1062 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
attachment(46 kB)24 downloads
File information
File name ATTACHMENT01.pdfFile size 46 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type attachmentMimetype application/pdf
attachment(90 kB)369 downloads
File information
File name ATTACHMENT02.pdfFile size 90 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type attachmentMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Bergqvist, Thérèse
By organisation
Department of English

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 5331 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 351 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link