A comparative study of Mexican and Irish compliment responses

Un estudio comparativo de las respuestas a cumplidos producidas por hablantes del español de México y del Inglés de Irlanda

Keywords: compliment, compliment response, face, Irish English, Mexican Spanish, politeness (en_US)
Keywords: cumplido, respuesta a un cumplido, imagen, cortesía, español mexicano, inglés, irlandés (es_ES)

Abstract (en_US)

The purpose of the present study is to compare the compliment responses (CRs) provided by 60 native Mexican Spanish speakers and 60 Irish English native speakers. Using a discourse completion task, 1080 responses were analyzed based on Herbert’s (1989) and Nelson, El Bakary and Al-Batal’s (1993) taxonomy. Findings suggest the existence of cross-cultural similarities in Irish and Mexican CRs in the frequency of deflecting comments and the mechanisms that are used to redirect the praise force. Second, the two languages differ in important ways. In responding to compliments, Irish recipients are much more likely than Mexican speakers to use a single strategy when formulating CRs. The findings further show that social factors (social distance, social power, gender, and the topic of the compliment) in both Mexican and Irish society seem to be crucial parameters in the formulation and acceptance or rejection of a compliment.

Abstract (es_ES)

El propósito del presente estudio fue comparar las respuestas a cumplidos (RC) producidas por 60 hablantes nativos de español de México y 60 hablantes nativos de inglés de Irlanda. La base de datos se recabó mediante un instrumento llamado discourse completion task, el cual permitió obtener 1080 respuestas, las cuales se analizaron usando la taxonomía propuesta por Herbert (1989) y Nelson, El Bakary y Al-Batal (1993). Los resultados muestran tres aspectos importantes. El primer resultado sugiere la existencia de similitudes entre las RCs irlandesas y mexicanas con respecto al empleo de estrategias de mitigación con el propósito de desviar los comentarios y redirigir el cumplido. En segundo lugar, los dos grupos difieren en aspectos importantes. Al responder a los cumplidos, los destinatarios irlandeses son mucho más propensos que los hablantes mexicanos a usar una sola estrategia, mientras que los mexicanos utilizan dos o más para formular las RCs. Los resultados muestran además que los factores sociales (distancia social, poder social, género y el tema del cumplido) en la sociedad mexicana y en la irlandesa parecen ser parámetros cruciales en la formulación y aceptación o rechazo de un cumplido.


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Author Biographies

Elizabeth Flores-Salgado, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

Facultad de Lenguas

Michael T. Witten

Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla


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How to Cite
Flores-Salgado, E., & Witten, M. T. (2019). A comparative study of Mexican and Irish compliment responses. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 21(1), 125-138. https://doi.org/10.14483/22487085.14670
Published: 2019-04-23
Research Articles