Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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This article examines the role of metapragmatic expressions (MPEs) in constructing common ground (CG) in the call taker’s responses to customer direct complaints in telephone interactions in the framework of the socio-cognitive approach proposed and developed by Kecskes (2008201020132017) and Kecskes and Zhang (20092013). Based on five extracts drawn from the data of about two hours of 15 recordings of telephone interactions that include successful complaint settlements made between customers and the customer service department of one Chinese airline, it reveals that the call taker mainly employs five types of MPEs as CG construction devices to explicitly manifest intentions of giving accounts and explanations, confirming and checking information, negotiating adequate compensations, establishing close interpersonal relationships, and aligning with the organization. This article enhances our understanding of the functioning process of metapragmatic indicators in complaint settlement in institutional telephone interactions.

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