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STUDY OF COMPLIMENT SPEECH ACT REALIZATION PATTERNS ACROSS GENDER IN PERSIAN

Abstract

Compliments are positive speech acts that express friendship and increase rapport among people. However, there are times when compliments are produced in conjunction with face-threatening acts to mitigate the face-threat (Golato, 2005). Owing to different cultural backgrounds and different social values, there are some differences existing in the compliment realization in different cultures. This study is aimed at extracting and categorizing the range of strategies used in responding to compliments in Persian. The study also intended to examine compliment responses across gender among Persian speakers. A Discourse Completion Test (DCT) is used to study the strategies employed when responding to compliments by Persian speakers. The corpus used in this analysis consists of 540 compliment/response sequences collected with the assistance of university students. Findings suggest that, in responding to a compliment, the general tendency of Persian speakers to respond to a compliment with an agreement, in addition, they also tended to express their modesty, which is deeply rooted in their culture. The results also indicate a significant effect of gender on compliment responses. Specifically, males were most likely to reject a compliment by using a set of formulaic expressions and scaling down the received compliment; in contrast, females tended to respond with acceptance or surprise to a compliment. Some cultural and pedagogical implications are discussed at the end of the paper.

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Yousefvand, Z., (2010) “STUDY OF COMPLIMENT SPEECH ACT REALIZATION PATTERNS ACROSS GENDER IN PERSIAN”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 17, p.91-112.

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Zohreh Yousefvand (Islamic Azad University)

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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