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Intercultural Pragmatics

Editor-in-Chief: Kecskes, Istvan

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Volume 10, Issue 4 (Nov 2013)


Your kids are so stinkin' cute! :-): Complimenting behavior on Facebook among family and friends

María Elena Placencia
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/ Amanda Lower
  • Corresponding author
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Published Online: 2013-11-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2013-0029


This paper examines complimenting behavior directed at members of one Facebook network of family and friends in the United States. It proposes a way of selecting a corpus for analysis within the online environment under scrutiny and offers a preliminary characterization of Facebook compliments in American English in relation to the form compliments take, common objects of complimenting and the key function(s) that they perform. As part of a multimodal system of communication, compliments on Facebook are described as a kind of second-pair part of photo-initiated communication online that can be employed to reaffirm the relationship and strengthen the bonds between the interactants.

The paper also explores the extent to which complimenting behavior on Facebook resembles usage that has been described for American English in face-to-face interaction. It shows that complimenting behavior on Facebook is the same in some ways but also different. The differences identified appear to be mainly related to the medium of interaction and the affordances (and restrictions) of the technology that can give rise to variations of talk and perhaps even new social practices.

Keywords: compliments; the Like function; American English; social networking sites; Facebook; computer mediated discourse; phatic talk

About the article

Published Online: 2013-11-21

Published in Print: 2013-11-15

Citation Information: Intercultural Pragmatics, ISSN (Online) 1613-365X, ISSN (Print) 1612-295X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2013-0029.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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