Baltic accent

2018 Vol. 9 №3

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Age-related characteristics of English, American, and Russian compliments



In this article, I identify and analyse the linguistic features of the generation and perception of compliments by people of different age identities from English, American and Russian cultures. Language is not the same across different age groups, which necessitates a thorough examination of age-related parameters in language and the identification of semiotic markers of age identity. The promising area of linguistic research — social semiotics — lends an urgency to such a study. To achieve the goal of the research, I employ the methods of contextual analysis and semantic and pragmatic interpretation. The qualitative calculations ensure the relevance of the study, which takes into account the intentional and stylistic features of compliments and reactions to compliments. The need to study these aspects is explained by the orientation of compliments towards effective communication. A typology of intentions and reactions shows that cultural differences between representatives of the English, American, and Russian national identities are clearly manifested in language. As to intentions, people with a mature English identity gravitate towards politeness, those with mature American identity towards praise, and those with mature Russian identity towards praise and flattery. An analysis of linguistic material demonstrates that compliments made by people with a mature age identity differ from those made by younger persons. Younger people are more prone to make compliments in informal communication than persons with mature age identity are. Compliments made by members of each age group have certain specific features. The findings of the study can be employed in the Stylistics and Pragmalinguistics courses, which is the practical outcome of the research.


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