1887
Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Abstract

Taking into account that people are reluctant to engage in a conflictual interaction but also that the recognition and interpretation of a complaint is very much contingent on the discourse in which it appears, the present paper adopts a conversation analytic perspective and studies complaints in ordinary conversation. In terms of politeness research, complaints are characterized as ‘face threatening acts’, with the analysis focusing either on the mitigation strategies the complainer may employ or on the description of the acts that are at the complainee’s disposal. From a wider perspective, the most prominent feature of complaints is that they transform an individual’s trouble into an acknowledgeable interpersonal problem. The present research focuses on complaints addressed to participants in the on-going interaction (direct complaints), explicating instances where members themselves reveal their understanding of the complaint. Special attention is given to the mitigation and accounting practices a complainee employs, i.e. noticings, anticipatory apologies and (preemptive) accounts, which all aim to withhold the disaffiliative complaint. Through these practices, not only does the candidate complaint-recipient mitigate the impact of his/her accountability but also third party participants attempt to avoid the delivery of the complaint. The data of the study consist of 20 audio-recorded conversations between friends and relatives and are drawn from the Corpus of Spoken Greek of the Institute of Modern Greek Studies.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/jlac.00030.kar
2019-09-24
2019-12-12
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Alberts, Jess
    1988 “An Analysis of Couples’ Conversational Complaint Interactions.” Communication Monographs5(2):184–9. 10.1080/03637758809376165
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03637758809376165 [Google Scholar]
  2. Atkinson, Maxwell, and Paul Drew
    1971Order in Court: The Organisation of Verbal Interaction in Judicial Settings. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Karafoti, Eleni
    2015a “Absent Second Pair Parts and their Relevance for (Im)politeness.” InExploring (Im)politeness in Specialized and General Corpora: Converging Methodologies and Analytic Procedures, ed. byŞukriye, Ruhi, and Yeşim, Aksan, 82–105. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. 2015b “Politeness, Impoliteness and Speaker’s Face.” Ph.D. Thesis. Thessaloniki: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
  5. Boxer, Diana
    1993 “Social Distance and Speech Behavior: The Case of Indirect Complaints.” Journal of Pragmatics19:103–125. 10.1016/0378‑2166(93)90084‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(93)90084-3 [Google Scholar]
  6. 1995Complaining and Commiserating: A Speech Act View of Solidarity in Spoken American English. New York: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Brown, Penelope, and Stephen Levinson
    1987Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511813085
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511813085 [Google Scholar]
  8. Christodoulidou, Maria
    2010 “Complaints about Misbehaviour.” Journal of Greek Linguistics10:295–316. 10.1163/156658410X531979
    https://doi.org/10.1163/156658410X531979 [Google Scholar]
  9. 2012 “Conversational Irony: Evaluating Complaints.” InSpaces of Polyphony, ed. byClara Ubaldina Lorda, and Patrick Zabalbeascoa, 25–42. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 10.1075/ds.15.04ch2
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ds.15.04ch2 [Google Scholar]
  10. Cohen, Andrew, and Elite Olshtain
    1993 “The Production of Speech Acts by EFL Learners.” TESOL Quarterly27(1):33–56. 10.2307/3586950
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3586950 [Google Scholar]
  11. Curl, Traci, Paul Drew, and Richard Ogden
    2002 “Complaining: Affiliation and Disaffiliation in Complaint Sequences in Conversation.” University of York, unpublished manuscript.
  12. Dersley, Ian, and Antony Wootton
    2000 “Complaint Sequences within Antagonistic Argument.” Research on Language and Social Interaction33(4):375–406. 10.1207/S15327973RLSI3304_02
    https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327973RLSI3304_02 [Google Scholar]
  13. Drew, Paul
    1998 “Complaints about Transgressions and Misconduct.” Research on Language and Social Interaction31(3):295–325. 10.1080/08351813.1998.9683595
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.1998.9683595 [Google Scholar]
  14. Drew, Paul, and Elizabeth, Holt
    1988 “Complainable Matters: The Use of Idiomatic Expressions in Making Complaints.” Social Problems35(4): 398–417. 10.2307/800594
    https://doi.org/10.2307/800594 [Google Scholar]
  15. Drew, Paul, and Traci, Walker
    2009 “Going too far: Complaining, Escalating, and Disaffiliation.” Journal of Pragmatics41(12):2400–2414. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.046
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.046 [Google Scholar]
  16. Edwards, Derek
    2005 “Moaning, Whinging and Laughing: The Subjective Side of Complaints.” Discourse Studies7(1): 5–29. 10.1177/1461445605048765
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445605048765 [Google Scholar]
  17. Emerson, Robert M., and Sheldon L. Messinger
    1977 “The Micro-Politics of Trouble.” Social Problems25:121–34. 10.2307/800289
    https://doi.org/10.2307/800289 [Google Scholar]
  18. Garfinkel, Harold
    1967 “Studies of the Routine Grounds of Everyday Activities”. Social Problems11(3):225–50. 10.2307/798722
    https://doi.org/10.2307/798722 [Google Scholar]
  19. Georgakopoulou, Alexandra
    2001 “Arguing about the Future: On Indirect Disagreements in Conversations”. Journal of Pragmatics33(12):1881–1900. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(00)00034‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(00)00034-5 [Google Scholar]
  20. Geluykens, Ronald, and Bettina Kraft
    2003 “Sociocultural Variation in Native and Interlanguage Complaints.” InMeaning Through Language Contrast, ed. byKatarzyna M. Jaszczolt, and Ken Turner, 251–275, vol.2, Amsterdam: Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.100.16gel
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.100.16gel [Google Scholar]
  21. 2007 “Gender Variation in Native and Interlanguage Complaints.” InCross-Cultural Pragmatics and Interlanguage English, ed. byBettina Kraft, and Ronald Geluykens, 143–158. Muenchen: Lincom-Europa.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Gruber, Helmut
    1998 “Disagreeing: Sequential Placement and Internal Structure of Disagreements in Conflict Episodes.” Text18:467–503. 10.1515/text.1.1998.18.4.467
    https://doi.org/10.1515/text.1.1998.18.4.467 [Google Scholar]
  23. Hartford, Beverly, and Ahmar Mahboob
    2004 “Models of Discourse in the Letter of Complaint.” World Englishes23(4):585–600. 10.1111/j.0083‑2919.2004.00378.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0083-2919.2004.00378.x [Google Scholar]
  24. Haugh, Michael
    2010 “Jocular Mockery, (Dis)affiliation, and Face.” Journal of Pragmatics42:2106–2119. 10.1016/j.pragma.2009.12.018
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2009.12.018 [Google Scholar]
  25. Haugh, Michael, and Dániel, Kádár
    2013Understanding Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Heinemann, Trine
    2009a “Complaining in Interaction.” Journal of Pragmatics41(12):2381–2384. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.10.006
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.10.006 [Google Scholar]
  27. 2009b “Participation and Exclusion in Third Party Complaints.” Journal of Pragmatics41(12): 2435–2451. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.044
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.044 [Google Scholar]
  28. Heritage, John
    1984aGarfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. 1984b “A Change of State Token and Aspects of its Sequential Placement.” InStructures of Social Action, ed. byMaxwell J. Atkinson, and John Heritage, 299–345. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 1988 “Explanations as Accounts: A Conversation Analytic Perspective.” InAnalyzing Everyday Explanation: A Casebook of Methods, ed. byCharles Antaki, 127–144. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. 1990 “Interactional Accountability: A Conversation Analytic Perspective.” Réseaux8(1):23–49. 10.3406/reso.1990.3529
    https://doi.org/10.3406/reso.1990.3529 [Google Scholar]
  32. 1997 “Conversation Analysis and Institutional Talk: Analyzing Data.” InQualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice, ed. byDavid Silverman, 161–182. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Holt, Elizabeth
    2011 “On the Nature of ‘Laughables’: Laughter as a Response to Overdone Figurative Phrases.” Pragmatics21(3):393–410. 10.1075/prag.21.3.05hol
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.21.3.05hol [Google Scholar]
  34. Jefferson, Gail
    1984 “On Stepwise Transition from Talk about a Trouble to Inappropriately Next-positioned Matters.” InStructures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis, ed. byMaxwell J. Atkinson, and John Heritage, 191–222. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. 1988 “On the Sequential Organization of Troubles Talk in Ordinary Conversation.” Social Problems35(4):418–442. 10.2307/800595
    https://doi.org/10.2307/800595 [Google Scholar]
  36. 2004 “Glossary of Transcript Symbols with an Introduction.” InConversation Analysis: Studies from the First Generation, ed. byGene H. Lerner, 13–31. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.125.02jef
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.125.02jef [Google Scholar]
  37. Kakavá, Christina
    2002 “Opposition in Modern Greek Discourse: Cultural and Contextual Constraints.” Journal of Pragmatics34(10–11):1537–1568. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(02)00075‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00075-9 [Google Scholar]
  38. Kotthoff, Helga
    1993 “Disagreement and Concession in Disputes: On the Context Sensitivity of Preference Structures.” Language in Society22:193–216. 10.1017/S0047404500017103
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500017103 [Google Scholar]
  39. Koshik, Irene
    2005Beyond Rhetorical Questions: Assertive Questions in Everyday Interaction. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 10.1075/sidag.16
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sidag.16 [Google Scholar]
  40. Laforest, Marty
    2002 “Scenes of Family Life: Complaining in Everyday Conversation”. Journal of Pragmatics34(10–11):1595–1620. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(02)00077‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00077-2 [Google Scholar]
  41. 2009 “Complaining in Front of a Witness: Aspects of Blaming Others for their Behaviour in Multi-party Family Interactions.” Journal of Pragmatics41:2452–2464. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.043
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.043 [Google Scholar]
  42. Makri-Tsilipakou, Marianthi
    1991 “Agreement/Disagreement: Affiliative vs. Disaffiliative Display in Cross-Sex Conversation.” Ph.D. Thesis. Thessaloniki: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
  43. Mandelbaum, Jenny
    1993 “Assigning Responsibility in Conversational Storytelling: The Interactional Construction of Reality.” Text13:247–266. 10.1515/text.1.1993.13.2.247
    https://doi.org/10.1515/text.1.1993.13.2.247 [Google Scholar]
  44. Márquez Reiter, Rosina
    2005 “Complaint Calls to a Caregiver Service Company: The Case of Desahogo.” Intercultural Pragmatics2(4):481–514.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Maynard, Douglas
    1989 “Perspective-display Sequences in Conversation.” Western Journal of Speech Communication53:91–113. 10.1080/10570318909374294
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10570318909374294 [Google Scholar]
  46. McLaughlin, Margaret, Michael Cody, and Dan H. O’Hair
    1983 “The Management of Failure Events: Some Contextual Determinants of Accounting Behavior.” Human Communication Research9:208–224. 10.1111/j.1468‑2958.1983.tb00695.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1983.tb00695.x [Google Scholar]
  47. Monzoni, Chiara M.
    2009 “Direct Complaints in (Italian) Calls to the Ambulance: The Use of Negatively Framed Questions.” Journal of Pragmatics41(12): 2465–2478. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.042
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.042 [Google Scholar]
  48. Murphy, Beth, and Joyce Neu
    1996 “My Grade’s too Low: The Speech Act Set of Complaining.” InSpeech Acts Across Cultures, ed. bySusan M. Gass, and Joyce Neu, 191–216. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Olshtain, Elite, and Liora Weinbach
    1993 “Interlanguage Features of the Speech Act of Complaining.” InInterlanguage Pragmatics, ed. byGabriele Kasper, and Shoshana Blum-Kulka, 108–122. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Orthaber, Sara
    2017 “(Im)politeness at a Slovenian Call Centre.” Ph.D. Thesis. University of Surrey.
  51. Pavlidou, Theodossia-Soula, Charikleia, Kapellidi, and Eleni, Karafoti
    2014 “The Corpus of Spoken Greek.” InBest Practices for Spoken Corpora in Linguistic Research, ed. byThomas Schmidt, Kai Wörner, Şükriye Ruhi, and Michael Haugh, 56–74. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Raymond, Geoffrey
    2004 “Prompting Action: The Stand-alone ‘So’ in Ordinary Conversation.” Research on Language and Social Interaction37:185–218. 10.1207/s15327973rlsi3702_4
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi3702_4 [Google Scholar]
  53. Robinson, Jeffrey D.
    (ed.) 2016Accountability in Social Interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210557.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210557.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  54. Sacks, Harvey
    1987 “On the Preferences for Agreement and Contiguity in Sequences in Conversation.” InTalk and Social Organisation, ed. byGraham Button, and John A. Lee, 54–69. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. 1992/5Lectures on Conversation, vol.1. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Sacks, Harvey, and Emanuel A. Schegloff
    1973 “Opening up Closings.” Semiotica8(4):289–327.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Sacks, Harvey, Emanuel A. Schegloff, and Gail Jefferson
    1974 “A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking for Conversation.” Language50(4):696–735. 10.1353/lan.1974.0010
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1974.0010 [Google Scholar]
  58. Schegloff, Emanuel A.
    1982 “Discourse as an Interactional Achievement: Some Uses of ‘uh huh ’ and Other Things that Come Between Sentences.” InAnalyzing Discourse: Text and Talk, ed. byDeborah Tannen, 71–93, Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. 1988 “On an Actual Virtual Servo-Mechanism for Guessing Bad News: A Single Case Conjecture.” Social Problems35(4):442–45. 10.2307/800596
    https://doi.org/10.2307/800596 [Google Scholar]
  60. 1997 “Practices and Actions: Boundary Cases of Other-initiated Repair.” Discourse Processes23:499–545. 10.1080/01638539709545001
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638539709545001 [Google Scholar]
  61. 2005 “On Complainability.” Social Problems52(4):449–476. 10.1525/sp.2005.52.4.449
    https://doi.org/10.1525/sp.2005.52.4.449 [Google Scholar]
  62. 2007Sequence Organization in Interaction: Volume 1: A Primer in Conversation Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511791208
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791208 [Google Scholar]
  63. Schegloff, Emanuel A., Gail, Jefferson, and Harvey, Sacks
    1977 “The Preference for Self-correction in the Organization of Repair in Conversation.” Language53: 361–382. 10.1353/lan.1977.0041
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1977.0041 [Google Scholar]
  64. Searle, John R.
    1976 “A Classification of Illocutionary Acts.” Language in Society5(1):1–23. 10.1017/S0047404500006837
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500006837 [Google Scholar]
  65. Traverso, Veronique
    2009 “The Dilemmas of Third-party Complaints in Conversation between Friends.” Journal of Pragmatics41(12):2385–2399. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.047
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.09.047 [Google Scholar]
  66. Trosborg, Anna
    1995Interlanguage Pragmatics. Requests, Complaints and Apologies. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110885286
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110885286 [Google Scholar]
  67. Trosborg, Anna, and Philip, Saw
    1998 “‘Sorry Does not Pay my Bills.’ The Handling of Complaints in Everyday Inter-action/Cross-Cultural Business Interaction.” Hermes, Journal of Linguistics21:67–94.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/jlac.00030.kar
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): accountability , accounts , apologies , complaints , conversation analysis , Corpus of Spoken Greek and noticings
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