The communication of emotions in England and Poland: compliments and refusals
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AbstractPrevious research has shown some significant differences in the way speech acts are made and responded to in different cultures and languages. This study investigates two speech acts in particular, compliments and refusals, in two specific cultures, England and Poland. The project investigates the role of emotions in communication and social interaction with reference to these speech acts, which are particularly interesting due to their opposite emotional valence: compliments are perceived as positive and refusals are negative. English and Polish compliments and refusals are investigated as the two cultures are often perceived as proximate, which suggests that the observed differences will be particularly interesting as they have the potential to shed light on important and yet intractable distinguishing features of the two cultures. The research has two lines of investigation: theoretical and empirical. The theoretical aspect of research aims to bring together insights on the role of emotions in communication and a cognitive perspective on communication to explain the functions of compliments and refusals in social interaction and the relation between the cognitive and affective aspects of the production and reception of these speech acts. The empirical part of the research is based on an original study that presents new insights into complimenting and refusing behaviour in English and Polish culture. The comparison of English and Polish findings reveals many similarities in complimenting behaviour and some striking differences in refusing behaviour (most notably, Polish speakers tend to be less congruent than English speakers when making refusals and their refusals tend to be more detailed and more elaborate). The pragmatic analysis of the data has some interesting implications for the classification of compliment responses, suggesting that the classification should be based on appreciation, rather than on acceptance or rejection.
CitationBhatti, J. (2014) 'The communication of emotions in England and Poland: Compliments and refusals'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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