POLITENESS IN COMPLIMENT RESPONSES OF MALAYSIA CHINESE UNDERGRADUATES

Yingqi Wu, Baljit Kaur

Abstract


Politeness appears to be a prevalent concept in human interaction, and to date, many models of politeness have been put forward in the literature. This study analyses a corpus of compliment responses (CRs) in Malaysian Chinese undergraduates according to the Politeness Principles of Gu (1992) with a view to examine the politeness in responding to compliments. The data in the present study were collected from 30 undergraduates in a local university through role-play scenarios, with a focus on the variables of topic (appearance, character, ability and possession), social distance and social status. The findings of the study show that Malaysian Chinese undergraduates chose various politeness strategies in their CRs among different circumstances. Malaysian Chinese undergraduates’ politeness is greatly influenced by collectivism in Chinese culture so they are more others-oriented. Therefore, they are greatly governed by the Accordance Maxim in CRs by using Acceptance, especially Appreciation strategies. With the assimilation of English, Malaysian Chinese undergraduates are also likely to keep the Refinement Maxim in which indirect responses such as giggling/smiling are frequently used to show great politeness. Nevertheless, the preference of politeness strategies may vary between nowadays Malaysian Chinese and other Chinese generations as there is less preference of Self-denigration Maxim among them in communication.

 

 


Keywords


COMPLIMENT-RESPONSE STRATEGIES, POLITENESS, MALAYSIAN CHINESE UNDERGRADUATES, SPEECH ACTS, FACE

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24200/mjll.vol5iss1pp41-59

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