Compliment: A Cross-Cultural Study of Speech Act Awareness: A Pilot Project Report

Xiamei PENG, Yushan ZHAO


Based on the findings and researches on compliments proposed by Brown and Levinson, Leech and Holmes, the present pilot project designs questionnaire for three subject groups: Chinese native speakers, English native speakers, and Chinese interlanguage speakers, to investigate compliments from a cross-cultural point of view and compare the different speech act awareness. The findings include three points: (a) The three groups have different awareness of compliments; (b) Power and social distance play different roles in the three groups’ communication; (c) Gender is also an important variable in offering compliment. Furthermore, the project also provokes some thinking on English Language Teaching (ELT).


Compliment; Cross-Cultural; Speech act awareness; English Language Teaching (ELT)

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