CraigYes I’m gonna say that and something big.PeterOh bollocks.CraigRight that’s what I’m gonna say I’m gonna say Ross can you fuck off please and I’m gonna say Jock you don’t mind do you?Peter1 I’ll just make sure I’m not in here, that’s what I’ll do.(42001a-09-M-14-16-He-?)
Please is an expression of politeness. However, in the example above it is used together with the impolite ‘can you fuck off’ as a rude way of asking the other person to go away. Such examples are not unexpected in adolescent language. The question arises why the speakers use impolite language and why please is sometimes used with a negative or impolite meaning.
Young people seem to use rude language differently from adults. Andersen (2001) has studied how teenagers use pragmatic markers such as like in contexts which seem strange to speakers who are not in the peer group. He suggests that “more generally, it is of interest to investigate whether adolescence and adulthood are essentially different with respect to interactional and politeness principles” (Andersen, 2001, p. 307). Teenagers seem for instance to “pay less attention to politeness and phatic language than adults do.” Interruptions are frequent and they are often accompanied by “mock insults.”
The aim of the present study is to investigate how the politeness marker please is used by young people to distinguish themselves from adults and create an identity of their own. The analysis of please will be based on the Bergen Corpus of London Teenage Language (COLT),11 a corpus of half a million words of conversations among young boys and girls, mainly between 13 and 16 years of age from different London boroughs. The young people know each other well and they speak on a large number of different topics (see further Stenström et al., 2002). The recordings can be listened to but the conversations have not been prosodically transcribed. The distribution and uses of please will be compared with “adult data” from the British component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB) (see Nelson, Wallis and Aarts, 2002).
The structure of the paper is as follows: The theoretical frame will be discussed in Section 2. Section 3 deals with please in previous work. Section 4 compares please in the COLT Corpus with its uses in other corpora. In Section 5, I discuss the teenagers’ strategic uses of please to create a certain image or identity of themselves. In Section 6, I draw some conclusions from the data about the functions of impoliteness in teenage language.
2 Theoretical perspectives
Brown and Levinson’s influential theory of politeness (1978, 1987) relied on the notion of face: “the public self-image that every member wants to claim for himself (sic)” (Brown and Levinson, 1978, p. 66). The focus is on how speakers use special strategies to save their own or the hearer’s face if threatened. For example, if the speaker asks somebody to do something, they may use a strategy mitigating the illocutionary force of the face-threatening action.
Brown and Levinson’s model of politeness has been criticized because “it focused on harmonious interactions, and, thus, quite understandably, ignored impoliteness” (Culpeper, 2011, p. 6). Human beings do not always behave in a polite way. They use rude language such as swearing and express their annoyance or irritation both verbally and non-verbally. Other types of impoliteness in conversation are irony and banter.
For example, a primary step in pragmatically interpreting the mand “Just pay me the money you owe me” is to derive the implicature that S’s [the speaker’s] communicative goal is to get H [the hearer] to pay the money – that is, to interpret the mand (by default) as a directive. Only if H judges that this implicature is false, that is, if the Maxim of Quality is judged to be violated – will H access other interpretations, such as that S is indulging in playful banter.Leech (2014, p. 71).
Researchers who have criticized the Gricean approach have suggested that Relevance Theory offers a better method of deriving the inferences that are necessary to evaluate the discourse as polite or impolite (as ironic, joking, etc.) (cf. Watts, 2003, p. 26).
In recent discussions of impoliteness, it has been claimed that impoliteness can be strategic and systematic and that it should be studied in its own right (Culpeper 2011). Some uses of impoliteness are, for example, conventionalised and do not depend on inferencing.
As Francesca and John left the house, she came back to give Mum a kiss and they said goodbye in the way they often did. ‘Bye, you bitch.’ Francesca said. ‘Get out of here, go on, you bitch’, replied Mum. (From It’s in the blood: My life by Lawrence Dallaglio, former English Rugby captain. The example has been shortened.)(Culpeper, 2011, p. 207).
In the mother’s direct speech we find an insulting vocative “you bitch” following what Culpeper (2011) refers to as a “dismissal” (get out of here). These expressions do not seem to match the situation in which they are uttered (a conversation between family members). However, in their context they signal “a strong family unit”. According to Culpeper (2011, p. 207), “[T]he recontextualisation of impoliteness in socially opposite contexts reinforces social opposite effects, namely, affectionate, intimate bonds among individuals and the identity of the group.”
In the example just given, the mismatch is external (mismatch between a lexical expression and the context). Other cases involve internal mismatches, i. e. mismatches created out of conventionalised politeness formulas in the context of an impoliteness expression (Culpeper’s 2011 paradigm example is Could you please fuck off) (See Culpeper, 2011, p. 166 and Section 5.1.)
Bernal’s study (2008) of “genuine versus non-genuine politeness” in colloquial Spanish is of interest because it deals with another language than English. Bernal (2008) observed that in Spanish society certain expressions which were used for mocking or insulting in certain contexts could have the effect of producing “an affiliative social effect, strengthening feelings of solidarity within a group and of closeness between interlocutors” (2008, p. 781). Bernal studied expressions in Peninsular Spanish which could have both impolite or negative effects (authentic impoliteness) and less conventionalized readings implying “apparent impoliteness only” (non-authentic impoliteness; Bernal, 2008, p. 782). Bernal also pointed out the importance of the interpretation a receiver makes of the situation, for example how “impoliteness can be entertaining”. The discussion is based mainly on negative expressions such as swearing. We can however assume that Spanish and other languages also use inherently polite expressions in impolite ways for mock impoliteness or banter.
Recently, we have witnessed the publications of many books and articles about impoliteness. However, we do not know enough about different types of impoliteness and how to describe them. The term banter is for example used broadly both about teasing or mocking a particular target and “to refer to insulting others in a ritualised manner” (Haugh and Bousfield, 2012, p. 4). It is therefore important to discuss the different functions of im / politeness in actual discourse in as many settings as possible (and in several different languages).
3 Previous work
Culpeper (2011, p. 130) describes please (and thanks) as “icons of English politeness” closely associated with social norms and habits in English society. You are for example supposed to say please when you ask for something at the dinner table in an English middle class family. Biber et al. (1999) mention please as an example of “primarily polite speech act formulae” occurring typically in exchanges such as “Can I have a-another two Diet Cokes please? Thank you” (Biber et al. 1999, p. 1093). The authors regard please as an “insert”, so called because it is only loosely associated with the sentence.
Wichmann’s articles on please (2004, 2005) are a contribution to the study of the association between intonation and attitudes. It is shown that please “is not always a neutral courtesy marker as suggested by Biber et al.’s analysis but, depending on its intonational realization, can convey meanings at the more emotional end of the interactional spectrum” (2005, p. 248). Perceived attitudes include interpersonal meanings such as being rude, humorous, ironic, etc. As shown by Wichmann, attitudinal meanings are not only carried by lexical and grammatical means but are also signalled non-verbally and prosodically.
Wichmann’s study is based on naturally spoken data from ICE-GB. In Section 4, I will compare the distribution and uses of please in the COLT Corpus with data from Wichmann’s analysis.
At one end of the scale it is almost indispensable as a marker of routine politeness in nonsentential requests such as Tickets please or answers to offers: Would you like some more? Yes, please. At the other extreme, especially when please is pronounced with an emphatic falling intonation or is used as an isolate… it can be an insistent reinforcement of the directive(Leech 2014, p. 162).
Sato (2008) focused on the functional equivalences of please in different positions within turn-constructional units in American English and New Zealand English. In turn-initial position, please expressed various emotions “such as the speaker’s wish, the sense of urgency, and enthusiasm” (Sato 2008, p. 1275). The medial position was closely associated with maintaining “an agreeable and cordial interaction with the participant(s)” (Sato 2008, p. 1275). The final position was shown to be “the locus in which the linkage between the speaker and the social situation is sought and acknowledged” (Sato 2008, p. 1276).22
Most attempts at defining the functions of please refer to its politeness use in connection with requests. An exception is De Felice and Murphy (2015, p. 87) who mention the possible rudeness of please (especially in American English): “However, some informal claims have been made (Trawick-Smith, 2012; Murphy, 2012) that the presence of please requests can seem less polite in American English than the equivalent request without it, emphasizing social power differences and expressing impatience.”
4 Types of utterances with please
The high frequency of please in the COLT Corpus is striking in comparison with its use in other corpora. In the London-Lund Corpus (LLC) (representing data from the 1960s and 1970s) there were 75 examples of please (Aijmer, 1996), and Wichmann (2004, p. 1529) found 84 examples of please in the more recent (spoken part of the) British Component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB). Table 1 compares the frequencies of please in the three corpora:
The frequency of please in COLT, LLC and ICE-GB (The frequencies have been normalized to 100,000 words).
|COLT||LLC (Aijmer 1996)||ICE-GB (Wichmann 2004)|
The meaning of please depends on sentence type, the degree of directive force, and position in the utterance. Please can be inserted into many types of sentence (declarative sentences, interrogative sentences, imperatives). It can also be used alone without an explicit request.
All tokens of please co-occurred with a directive (cf. Wichmann, 2004). A basic distinction can be made between directives in the form of commands (expressing strong directive force in the form of an imperative) and (indirect) requests. Indirect requests include interrogative sentences, modal interrogatives (can you, could you), declaratives with modals (I can) and elliptical constructions. In addition, please can stand alone (including yes please and no please). See Table 2:
Utterance types co-occurring with please in the COLT Corpus.
|Utterance type||No of occurrences|
|Indirect requests (modified by please)||179|
|Commands (modified by please)||151|
Indirect requests modified by please were more frequent than modified imperatives both in the COLT Corpus and in Wichmann’s data from the ICE-GB Corpus (2004, p. 1530).
In both corpora there were few syntactic constraints on please. Please was found in final, initial and medial position. Table 3 compares please in different utterance positions in indirect requests and commands:
Utterance positions of please in requests and mitigated commands in the COLT Corpus.
|Indirect requests||173 (96.6 %)||4||2||179|
|Commands||80 (62.6 %)||48 (37.5 %)||0||128|
In indirect requests, please was nearly always in final position (but less often in ICE-GB: 76 %, Wichmann, 2004, p. 1529). In commands, please was more frequent in final than in initial position (final 62.6 %; initial 37.5 %). In ICE-GB, commands showed a greater tendency to use please in initial than in final position (Initial 77 %).
Table 4 lists the patterns (including the imperative) mitigated by please in the COLT Corpus:
Patterns with direct and indirect requests mitigated by please in the COLT Corpus.
|Yes (yeah) please||12|
The following patterns occurred once or twice only: pretty please (2), could I (2), will you (2), I wanna (2), would you (1), will somebody (1), you can (1), may I (1), I would like to (1), you wanna (1), can someone (1), you may (1), everybody else can (1), do you think you can (1), I think people can (1)
Imperatives modified by please were more frequent than interrogative structures or declarative sentences. Can was preferred as a modal auxiliary in modal interrogative structures. There were 113 examples of can / could to be compared with will / would, 2 examples, and may, 1 example. The subject of can was most frequently the first or the second person. Can I modified by please was the most frequent pattern after imperatives.
Craiggood! When you go don’t forget me. Send me a card.PeterI’m not going!… They just send it to me, I send it back.CraigOh!PeterCan you get off please? Pop my microphone.CraigYou never knowPeterSix other people. Thirty people all over London.
PeterHe goes, he thinks you’re, he thinks you’re so funny
I can’t I do it in music.JosieNo, I wanna see, I’ve never seen you do it, please?PeterI don’t flirt! I just, [you’ve seen me flirt!]Josie[ ](32901a-02-F-14-16-Ha-?)
Peter_ watch with me. I wanna watch [
]Grace[Well], just tell them what one you want, I meanPeterSee I wanna see Accidental Hero.GracePlease!PeterThat looks good.GraceI know, but I mean, come on!PeterWell what else is on actually?GraceThere’s the Jungle(32503a-01-M-14-16-Ha-2)
To summarize, the COLT speakers use please more frequently than the speakers in the ICE-GB. Both groups of speakers used please more frequently to modify requests than commands. Please could be placed almost anywhere in the sentence. However, its placement depends on utterance type. In the COLT Corpus (but not in ICE-GB), there was a tendency to use please finally in commands. In the COLT Corpus, please was frequently used for exclamation and attitude (besides politeness), especially when it occurred alone.
5 The uses of please by speakers in the COLT Corpus
Please has several functions in the COLT Corpus. It is used for bantering or for irony, it is found in mock disputes, and in emotional narratives. In order to analyse what please is doing we have to look at larger stretches of discourse where the impoliteness only becomes evident in the on-going interactions.
5.1 Verbal formula mismatches
Ross >RossNo, don’t. You bastards.Craig laugh…RossYeah?CraigWill you fuck off please?RossYou don’t even know what I said to her last night [do you?]Craig[Fuck off.] Fuck off.RossI got you off(42003a-09-M-14-16-He-?-)
Culpeper discusses similar “impoliteness events” (Culpeper, 2011, p. 166) characterized by a mismatch between polite and impolite items. Go to hell please, said to get rid of somebody, might well be considered interpersonally negative, despite the fact that a conventional politeness marker has been used. In fact, this particular utterance achieves its power, because politeness is part of the conventionalised meaning of please. Leech (2013, p. 238) refers to “attitude clashes”: “an attitude clash is a case where the overt ‘polite’ meaning and the ‘impolite’ meaning of irony occur side by side in the same piece of language.”
PeterIt’s on two tapes…. It’s a bit boring though. Boring…. (5)CassieRight, can I have these sets of sheets back, please and can you pack away now! The next two Mondays we’re not gonna have humanities because we’re off!(32803a-04-F-?????-Ha)
5.2 Banter or mock impoliteness
A banter can for example involve an insult which is not to be taken seriously. However, banter can also be understood more broadly. Culpeper (2011, p. 208) considers mock impoliteness [banter] as involving the cancelling of impoliteness perlocutionary effects flowing from a conventionalised impoliteness formula when an obvious mismatch emerges with the context it is used in. Requests with please which are apparently impolite can be used in a humorous way for teasing or ‘banter’.
PeterIn the science thing.
who is it, then.AnthonyCyper and Sid, with the first that came to school….PeterKate give me your pen please.RichardFuck off.Peter laughRichardI gave you the little pen.PeterWho bet who?CassieToday the twenty fourth of the fourth of the(34401a-01-M-14-16-Ha-3-)
It is often difficult to know if the adolescents are angry with each other or not. Richard understands Peter’s request as offensive although it contains please. He therefore responds in a rude way. However, laughter makes it clear that the exchange is non-serious.
SelumYour roomsPeterWhat we do itSelumOh you do it.PeterYeah I knowMatthewCan I give you two tomorrow then when I’ve got it changed^manyMatthewPlease look I can’t pay youPeterShut up you fat bastard^manyPeterI’ll give you two for thatMatthewNo, I won’t, I won’t. Two for a(41204a-18-M-14-16-He-?)
Matthew uses the polite please but gets an impolite answer in return. The rudeness is in line with the humorous and mocking character of the exchange. Real anger is not expressed although Peter reacts by shouting (shut up you fat bastard). The lack of politeness can be associated with banter and with solidarity in the peer group.
laughOh someone give me some money Cath give me some money.JosiePeterHello Vicky. Catherine give me some money please.RobertI haven’t fucking got any…. (5) What? >Peter nothing(33704a-01-F-14-16-Ha-3)
The hearer is not assumed to take what is said as serious but as joking on the basis of the hearer’s response to what was said, prosody, the use of please with an imperative, etc.
The episodes in this section illustrate what Kienpointner (1997) refers to as “sociable rudeness” (and I have referred to as an evaluation of what is said as mock impoliteness). Treating what is said as mock impoliteness rather than as “face-threatening” is “allowable” if participants orient to the offence as joking and “as being relationship-supportive.” In Haugh and Bousfield’s comparative study of male-male interactions among speakers of British and Australian English, mock impoliteness was for example seen as “reflective of one’s adherence to not taking oneself too seriously”, which is something positively valued by both the British and Australian speakers (Haugh and Bousfield, 2012, p. 19).
5.3 Pattern-forming impoliteness
PeterGive me a bit of Kit Kat. Give me a bit of Kit Kat. Can I have a bit Peter darling?MichaelDon’t you ever say please?PeterPlease.MichaelHow rude can you get. Give me a bit of Kit Kat. How rude.PeterCome on fucking give some more right now Can I can I have a bit please.Michael
this rude English baby herePeterCan I have a little bit please?MichaelI might give you somePeter Can I have a bit please >MichaelAsk nicely.PeterPlease can I have a bit of Kit Kat?MichaelPretty please.PeterPretty please.MichaelSugar on top.Peter sugar on top >MichaelWith lots of sugar.Peter lots of sugar >MichaelA cherry.Peter a cherry as well >MichaelNot my cherry,Peter laughMichaelGive me another please, give me another please, I’m [ ]Peter[Please] just fucking give me some>Michael laughPeter and after all I’ve done for you(33704a-08-M-14-16-Ha-?-)
Peter asks for a Kit Kat not using a form with please. Michael, however, provokes him (don’t you ever say please). Peter is told to “ask nicely” and uses the polite Please can I have a bit of Kit Kat ironically or non-seriously followed by the even more polite pretty please (“an extra cute way to say please”, according to Urban Dictionary66). The conversational exchange is characterised by escalation culminating in the “impolite” Please just fucking give me some.
The exchange suggests “ritualised competition in a pretend, mock frame” (Culpeper, 2011, p. 244). Shouting, giggling, laughing and mimicking add to the humorous quality of the exchange. Moreover, the co-constructed impoliteness is associated with affection and affiliation rather than real impoliteness: “it is a way of reinforcing in-group solidarity, it is a way of saying ‘We do not need to be polite to one another: I can insult you, and you will think it is a joke. This proves what good friends we are.’” (Leech, 2014, p. 19–20).
5.4 “Mock disputes”
screamJosieOh no.PeterDo you want not want the rest then? Let me have the rest. Can I have a tiny sip please.JosieNo.PeterPlease, look I gave you some crisps .RobertNo.(33704a-01-F-14-16-Ha-3)
The expected responsive action is an agreement. No introduces what would be analysed as a dispreferred turn in Conversation Analysis since it is associated with disagreement.
scream Yeah. Thinking of you >.CraigCan you keep an eye on him while I’m doing this dinner please?PeterNo.CraigPlease?PeterMum. No >!CraigWell, ^1 I don’t want to look a=, he’s a pain in(39601a-09-F-30-59-Ba-2)
5.5 The exclamative please
Please (free-standing or initial) expresses the speaker’s active involvement in the discourse. Please has meanings such as urgency, annoyance and irritation. These uses are compatible with the high involvement style favoured by teenagers (also reflected in swearing, taboo words and other negatively coloured words co-occurring with directives). By using please with a command, the speaker strengthens rather than weakens the impositive force of the imperative. The speaker’s behaviour can be perceived as impolite or face-threatening.
Peterah look at that woman! Ah! Yes! Oh what a lovely body! And, and he goes no we can’t, can we stop? Please! Please! Stop! Stop! Stop! And the guy driving the truck says, no we can’t we’ve got an important meeting. Okay, so the driver says, oh my God! There she is again! She’s, she’s got this fa=, how the hell did she get in front of us? Come on, please, the driver says I know, I know, speed up, let’s test her stamina.Grace
laughPeterStopped her dead.(32503a-01-M-14-16-Ha-2)
Please, especially if repeated, is used for emotional intensification rather than as a politeness marker. However, the effect is playful rather than serious. This is indicated by the fact that the hearer (Grace) laughs.
PeterLook, no it’s for you, [it might look, cos that’s the thing for
]Grace[Come on, please please please] come onPeterNo, no, no, [screw you]Grace[Come on,] oh come on ^1 No! >(32503a-06-M-14-16-Ha-?)
Peter And he goes, he goes to the bartender. He goes
panting raspberryhelp me, help me please please please, get this bear away from me, please, get the bear away from me and the bear goes grrr! And the bear’s behind(32701a-01-F-14-16-Ha-3)
RobertOssie, Ossie and
were both pissed out of their fucking faces and come in yeah, right we’re not having this bloody football on, no I just wanna watch the Chelsea, please can I just watch Chelsea, no piss off. Please just let me watch Chelsea, please, football on, no I just wanna watch the Chelsea, please can I just watch Chelsea, no piss off. Please just let me watch Chelsea, please, just once let me watch Chelsea, and they turned the telly off I said right you either turn the channel over or the telly doesn’t go (42105a-03-M-14-16-He-?-)
Different speakers are represented although the change of speakers is not marked explicitly by a reporting verb:
]Craig laughSorry Jock. Forgive me >? Please forgive me! It’s not worth dying for, please forgive me >.PeterNow you’re being sad.Craig laugh clears throat > I’m really jealous Jock.(41801a-09-M-14-16-He-?-)
5.6 Please expressing negative attitudes
CassieNo, I was gonna say I feel fine.PeterOh! Please!CassieDon’t do that please. It doesn’t hurt.Peter[
Yes it does hurt.]Cassie[ laugh]PeterI was right >.CraigAlright.PeterI ?> choked > you >.(39706a-01-M-14-16-Ba-1)
PeterOh! Here he goes again with his ball.JosieOh stop bouncing please. Is dad here?RobertYes.PeterOh hold on.Josie[I might get some meat and that for tomorrow.]^? [
BarryTwo fifty.PeterTwo fifty? I thought you got three quid. Claire gets more than you then.JosieOh please let me sit [down.]Barrie[Claire?]PeterMm.BarrieHow much do you get an hour?(35802a-02-F-17-19-To-?)
In all the examples, please is not only coercive and negative but it is used in a jocular way.
5.7 Emotional narratives
Anthonyand he goes
sit down please> laugh did you see about half the people sat down before he [ >]Cassie[I know.] And then everyone stood up again. It was well funny.AnthonyHe goes now you may sit down please>.(42104a-05-M-14-16-He)
? one >.
one’s in [ ] ^? [ ]JosieExcuse me, no, please, park your ass > like that >… please.Anthony Sorry. Sorry. >CassieHere’s another(42601a-02-M-14-16-He-?-)
Robert> And he goes no, fuck off, get into bed you dirty little shit! ^many
laughPeterAnd he goes please! He goes no you’re go away. No, I want to go to bed with you!(32701a-01-F-14-16-Ha-3) So he goes all right! Just
Michael‘ bout all you could.CraigYeah.Michael^1 Go do…. ^CraigWell what I’m gonna do is gonna say Ross can you fuck off please and if you’re in here I’m gonna say, you don’t mind do you Jock, and you’ll say no. Okay?PeterOh no,(42001a-09-M-14-16-He-?)
Richardforgot to say what ticket ordered and they automatically give you an adult don’t they?PeterYeah, yeah, you save yeah, I know.RichardAnd I say can I go to Hertford please and they didn’t ask me how old I was they just like, the next thing I knew I was, this six hundred quid ticket.PeterI know, and you don’t feel like arguing cos there’s like a massive queue behind [you.] ^7 [Yeah] and then out(41604a-07-M-14-16-He-?-)
PeterI can’t hear!Robinthree spastics and they went to the ice- cream van. One went
can I have an ice- cream please? > and the man shot him(32701a-23-M-10-13-Ha-?) died. But erm, the next one went can I have an ice- cream please? > and the the man hit him over the with the head with a baseball bat and he died. The other The other one goes can I have an ice- cream please? > and like stabbed him and he died. Policeman come over and said why did you kill all these three , these three spastics. And he goes I thought they were taking the micky out of me.
The high frequency of please in the stories told by the adolescents is striking. It is used for exaggeration, for humour and entertainment.
We can recognize several functions of the ‘impolite’ please in the COLT Corpus. To begin with, it is used strategically to establish or confirm harmonious relationships. According to Leech (2014, p. 239), “if two or more people find it possible to exchange insults and other impolite remarks, and at the same time to treat these as non-serious or even amusing, they share a powerful way of signalling their solidarity”. Young people do not feel threatened by the impoliteness of their peers and they do not think that impoliteness is bad (rapport-strengthening impoliteness).
Secondly, “mock impoliteness” may be understood in a positive way because it is amusing or entertaining. In young people’s circles, entertainment skills are for example highly valued (entertainment impoliteness). Please is appropriate because it lends itself to mock politeness and banter which are experienced as entertaining (as well as creating rapport). Speakers also engage in “emotional narratives” using please for more involvement and as a strategy, making the story come alive.
Finally, impoliteness is used creatively in interaction by the participants who use repetition, reformulation and escalation to construct ritualized sequences of apparent insults.
In this paper, I have drawn attention to how explicit politeness markers such as please can be used strategically for opposite effects. The study suggests that we need to study explicit politeness or impoliteness formulae in many different contexts and discourses to understand what they are doing and the norms for using them. We also need to study politeness and impoliteness markers in more languages in order to get a better understanding of how they are used and who uses them.
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A similar corpus is COLA (Corpus Oral de Lenguaje Adolescente), which is built up along roughly the same principles to study Spanish youth language in Madrid and in other capitals of Spanish-speaking countries (see Hofland et al. 2005).
Please has also been studied in different cultures and language communities. Comparative studies are among others House (1989) English and German, Sato (2008) American and New Zealand English, Economidou-Kogetsidis (2005), English and Greek, Aijmer (2010) English and Swedish. In addition, we find the following comparative studies on English and Spanish: Reiter (2000), Dumitrescu (2006), Félix-Brasdefer (2008), Stenström and Jörgensen (2008), De Pablos-Ortega (2010) and Maíz-Arévalo (2015), among others.
30 of the examples were due to the teacher in classroom conversations.
Girls and boys contributed roughly the same amount of text in COLT. However the gender of the speaker could not always be identified in the recordings.