15th Feb 2012 4:30pm-5:30pm
Sallis Benney Theatre
Compliments and Refusals in Poland and England: A Case Study
Dr Vladimir Zegarac
Reader in Language and Communication
University of Bedfordshire
In this talk we present the findings of a pilot study on the production and reception of compliments and refusals in the relatively proximate cultures of England and Poland. The findings reveal significant and systematic cross-cultural differences relating to refusals, while the differences relating to compliments are fewer and more subtle. The data suggests that the cross-cultural similarities and differences observed can be explained in terms of (a) a universalist view of institutional speech acts and face concerns in rapport management; (b) the Relevance-theoretic view of communication and cognition as oriented towards maximizing informativeness; and (c) some culture-specific values. These tentative point to some useful directions for future research.