Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-3851
  • E-ISSN: 2542-386X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


In contrast to the assumptions of linguistic research on face-to-face interaction, CMC studies have shown that self-promotion is acceptable and even desired in certain online contexts. However, investigations of self-praise online repeatedly refer to the specific features of internet environment or internet communities that cause a temporary suspension of the constraint against self-praise. The constraint itself is treated as somewhat of an axiom. The assumption is, therefore, that the speech act of self-praise is face-threatening and disruptive and can only occur when certain conditions prevail, for example, when a disclaimer #humblebrag is provided. In the present study, I look at self-praise in private WhatsApp chats. Until now, self-praise has been investigated in broadcasting contexts of Twitter and Instagram. On the basis of the existing description of these naturally occurring episodes of self-praise, a retrieval strategy is developed to identify self-praise in a corpus through queries for collocations of lexical markers. An analysis of the episodes of self-praise retrieved from the WhatsApp corpus and some preliminary results from the corpus of spoken American English support the tentative hypothesis that self-praise is an unmarked speech behaviour that is a part of an everyday speech act repertoire. The existing claim about its special status could be explained through a combination of intuitive assumptions carried over from the influential studies of the pre-corpus era, and the retrieval methods that targeted the modified self-praise.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Arkin, Robert
    1981 “Self-presentation style.” InImpression Management. Theory and Social Psychological Research, ed. by James Tedeschi , 311–333. New York: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978‑0‑12‑685180‑9.50020‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-685180-9.50020-8 [Google Scholar]
  2. Bargh, John , McKenna, Katelyn , and Grainne Fitzsimons
    2002 “Can you see the real me? Activation and expression of the ‘true self ’ on the internet.” Journal of Social Issues58 (1): 33–48. doi: 10.1111/1540–4560.00247
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1540–4560.00247 [Google Scholar]
  3. Baron, Naomi
    2009 “The myth of impoverished signal: Dispelling the spoken language fallacy for emoticons in online communication.” InEmotion and ICTs, ed. by Jane Vincent , and Leopoldina Fortunati , 107–135. London: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Baumeister, Roy F. , Debra G. Hutton , and Dianne M. Tice
    1989 “Cognitive processes during deliberate self-presentation: How self-presenters alter and misinterpret the behavior of their interaction partners.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology25(1): 59–78. doi: 10.1016/0022‑1031(89)90039‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(89)90039-5 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bazarova, Nalalia , Jessie G. Taft , Yoon Hyung Choi , and Dan Cosley
    2013 “Managing impressions and relationships on Facebook: Self-presentational and relational concerns revealed through the analysis of language style.” Journal of Language and Social Psychology32 (2): 121–141. doi: 10.1177/0261927X12456384.
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X12456384 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bolander, Brook , and Miriam Locher
    2010 “Constructing identity on Facebook: report on a pilot study.” InPerforming the Self, ed. by Karen Junod , and Didier Maillat , 165–187. Tübingen: Narr.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Brown, Penelope , and Stephen C. Levinson
    1987Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Carter, Seth E. , and Lawrence J. Sanna
    2006 “Are we as good as we think? Observers’ perceptions of indirect self-presentation as a social influence tactic.” Social Influence1: 185–207. doi: 10.1080/15534510600937313
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15534510600937313 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cialdini, Robert B. , Richard J. Borden , Avril Thorne , Marcus Randall Walker , Stephen Freeman , and Lloyd Reynolds Sloan
    1976 “Basking in reflected glory: Three (football) field studies.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology34: 366–375. doi: 10.1037/0022‑3514.34.3.366
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.34.3.366 [Google Scholar]
  10. Dayter, Daria
    2014 “Self-praise in microblogging.” Journal of Pragmatics61: 91–102. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2013.11.021.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.11.021 [Google Scholar]
  11. 2016Discursive Self in Microblogging: Speech Acts, Stories and Self-Praise. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/pbns.260
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.260 [Google Scholar]
  12. Dayter, Daria , and Sofia Rüdiger
    2014 “Speak your mind, but watch your mouth: Objectification strategies in negative references on CouchSurfing.” InFace Work and Social Media, ed. by Kristina Bedijs , Gudrun Held , and Christiane Maaß , 193–212. Wien: LIT Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 2017 “Killer hugs, mad skills and no one trick ponies: self-presentation on pick-up artists’ online forums.” Presentation at theInternational Pragmatics Association conference, 16–21 July 2017, Belfast, UK.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Derlega, Valerian , Sandra Metts , and Sandra Petronio
    1993Self-Disclosure. Newbury Park: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Dominick, Joseph R.
    1999 “Who do you think you are? Personal home pages and self-presentation on the World Wide Web.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly76 (4): 646–658. doi: 10.1177/107769909907600403
    https://doi.org/10.1177/107769909907600403 [Google Scholar]
  16. Dresner, Eli , and Susan C. Herring
    2010 “Functions of the nonverbal in CMC: Emoticons and illocutionary force.” Communication Theory20 (3): 249–268. doi: 10.1111/j.1468‑2885.2010.01362.x.
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2885.2010.01362.x [Google Scholar]
  17. Ellison, Nicole , Rebecca Heino , and Jennifer Gibbs
    2006 “Managing impressions online: Self-presentation processes in the online dating environment.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication11 (2): article 2. doi: 10.1111/j.1083–6101.2006.00020.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083–6101.2006.00020.x [Google Scholar]
  18. Folkes, Valerie S. , and David O. Sears
    1977 “Does everybody like a liker?” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology13 (6): 505–519. doi: 10.1016/0022‑1031(77)90050‑6.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(77)90050-6 [Google Scholar]
  19. Giacalone, Robert A. , and Catherine A. Riordan
    1990 “Effect of self-presentation on perceptions and recognition in an organization.” The Journal of Psychology124: 25–38. doi: 10.1080/00223980.1990.10543203
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00223980.1990.10543203 [Google Scholar]
  20. Gilbert, Shirley , and David Horenstein
    1975 “The communication of self-disclosure: Level versus valence.” Human Communication Research1 (4): 316–322. doi: 10.1111/j.1468‑2958.1975.tb00280.x.
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1975.tb00280.x [Google Scholar]
  21. Goffman, Erving
    1959The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Holtgraves, Thomas , and Thomas Srull
    1989 “The effects of positive self-description on impressions: General principles and individual differences.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin15: 452–462. doi: 10.1177/0146167289153014
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167289153014 [Google Scholar]
  23. Inman, Mary , Noelle McDonald , and Alexander Ruch
    2004 “Boasting and firsthand and secondhand impressions: A new explanation for the positive teller-listener extremity effect.” Basic and Applied Social Psychology26 (1): 1–11. doi: 10.1207/s15324834basp2601.
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15324834basp2601 [Google Scholar]
  24. Ireland, Molly E. , Richard B. Slatcher , Paul W. Eastwick , Lauren E. Scissors , Eli J. Finkel , and James W. Pennebaker
    2011 “Language style matching predicts relationship initiation and stability.” Psychological Science22 (1): 39–44. doi: 10.1177/0956797610392928.
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610392928 [Google Scholar]
  25. Jourard, Sidney
    1959 “Self disclosure and other-cathexis.” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology59: 428–31. doi: 10.1037/h0041640
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0041640 [Google Scholar]
  26. Kivran-Swaine, Funda , and Mor Naaman
    2011 “Network properties and social sharing of emotions in social awareness streams.” InProceedings of the ACM 2011 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, ed. by Pamela Hinds , John C. Tang , and Jian Wang , 379–382. New York, NY: ACM.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Leary, Mark R.
    1995Self-presentation: Impression Management and Interpersonal Behavior. Boulder, CO: Westview.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Leech, Geoffrey
    1983Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Matley, David
    . 2018. “This is NOT a #humblebrag, this is just a #brag’: The pragmatics of self-praise, hashtags and politeness in Instagram posts.” Discourse, Context & Media22: 30–38. doi: 10.1016/j.dcm.2017.07.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2017.07.007 [Google Scholar]
  30. Miller, Lynn Carol , Linda Lee Cooke , Jennifer Tsang , and Faith Morgan
    1992 “Should I brag? Nature and impact of positive and boastful disclosures for women and men.” Human Communication Research18 (3): 364–399. doi: 10.1111/j.1468‑2958.1992.tb00557.x.
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1992.tb00557.x [Google Scholar]
  31. Newcomb, Theodore Mead
    1961The Acquaintance Process. New York: Holt, Rjnehart and Winston. doi: 10.1037/13156‑000
    https://doi.org/10.1037/13156-000 [Google Scholar]
  32. Palmer, Cara A. , Meagan A. Ramsey , Jennifer N. Morey , and Amy L. Gentzler
    2016 “How do people share their positive events?” Journal of Individual Differences37 (4): 250–259. doi: 10.1027/1614‑0001/a000212.
    https://doi.org/10.1027/1614-0001/a000212 [Google Scholar]
  33. Petitjean, Cécile , and Etienne Morel
    2017 “‘Hahaha’: Laughter as a resource to manage WhatsApp conversations.” Journal of Pragmatics110: 1–19. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2017.01.001.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2017.01.001 [Google Scholar]
  34. Pomerantz, Anita
    1978 “Compliment responses: Notes on the co-operation of multiple constraints.” InStudies in the Organization of Conversational Interaction, ed. by Jim Schenkein , 79–112. New York: Academic Press.10.1016/B978‑0‑12‑623550‑0.50010‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-623550-0.50010-0 [Google Scholar]
  35. 1980 “Telling my side: ‘Limited access’ as a ‘fishing’ device.” Sociological Inquiry50 (3–4): 186–198. doi: 10.1111/j.1475‑682X.1980.tb00020.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-682X.1980.tb00020.x [Google Scholar]
  36. Qiu, Lin , Han Lin , Angela K. Leung , and William Tov
    2012 “Putting their best foot forward: emotional disclosure on Facebook.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking15 (10): 569–572. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0200.
    https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2012.0200 [Google Scholar]
  37. Rui, Jian , and Michael A. Stefanone
    2013 “Strategic self-presentation online: A cross-cultural study.” Computers in Human Behavior29 (1): 110–118. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2012.07.022.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.07.022 [Google Scholar]
  38. Schlenker, B. R.
    1980Impression Management: The Self-concept, Social Identity and Interpersonal Relations. Monterey, CA: Brooks.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Schlenker, Barry R. , and Mark R. Leary
    1982 “Audience’s reactions to self-enhancing, self-denigrating and accurate self-presentations.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology18: 89–104. doi: 10.1016/0022‑1031(82)90083‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(82)90083-X [Google Scholar]
  40. Schütz, Astrid
    1998 “Audience perceptions of politicians’ self-presentational behaviors concerning their own abilities.” Journal of Social Psychology138 (2): 173–188. doi: 10.1080/00224549809600369.
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00224549809600369 [Google Scholar]
  41. Sezer, Ovul , Francesca Gino , and Michael I. Norton
    2017 “Humblebragging: A distinct – and ineffective – self-presentation strategy.” Harvard Business School Marketing Unit Working PaperNo.15–080. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2597626.
    https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2597626 [Google Scholar]
  42. Sidnell, Jack
    2010Conversation Analysis. An Introduction. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Speer, Susan A.
    2012 “The interactional organization of self-praise: Epistemics, preference organization, and implications for identity research.” Social Psychology Quarterly75 (1): 52–79. doi: 10.1177/0190272511432939.
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0190272511432939 [Google Scholar]
  44. Tal-Or, Nurit
    2008 “Boasting, burnishing, and burying in the eyes of the perceivers.” Social Influence3 (3): 202–222. doi: 10.1080/15534510802324427.
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15534510802324427 [Google Scholar]
  45. Turkle, Sherry
    1995Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Simon and Schuster.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Underwood, Kate
    2011 “Facework as self-heroicisation: A case study of three elderly women.” Journal of Pragmatics43 (8): 2215–2242. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2011.02.010
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2011.02.010 [Google Scholar]
  47. Valkenburg, Patti , and Peter Jochen
    2009 “Social consequences of the Internet for adolescents: a decade of research.” Current Directions in Psychological Science18:1–5. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑8721.2009.01595.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01595.x [Google Scholar]
  48. Walther, Joseph B. , and Malcolm R. Parks
    2002 “Cues filtered out, cues filtered in: Computer-mediated communication and relationships.” InHandbook of Interpersonal Communication (3rd edn.), ed. by Mark L. Knapp , and John A. Daly , 529–563. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Wu, Ruey-Jiuan R.
    2011 “A conversation analysis of self-praising in everyday mandarin interaction.” Journal of Pragmatics43 (13): 3152–3176. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2011.05.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2011.05.016 [Google Scholar]
  50. Yus, Francisco
    2017 “Contextual constraints and non-propositional effects in WhatsApp communication.” Journal of Pragmatics114: 66–86. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2017.04.003.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2017.04.003 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error