Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
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This investigation of second language (L2) pragmatic development over a six-week, short-term study abroad program examines compliment responses among English-speaking, L2 learners of Spanish, and compares the L2 group to native speakers of Spanish and English. Data were collected by offering a compliment during interviews, thus eliciting naturalistic compliment responses in a uniform context. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of this corpus offered a discourse-level analysis of compliment responses as a (co)constructed and multimodal speech act. Results revealed cross-cultural differences in the use of appreciation tokens (e.g., “thanks”), nodding, and compliment-compliment response discourse structures (i.e., English: pragmatic routine with appreciation; Spanish: co-constructed agreement). L2 learners’ compliment responses before and after study abroad aligned with English speaker norms. Thus, compliment responses in the L2 may not be salient for L2 learners. Results highlighted cross-cultural differences in the speech acts used to respond to a compliment and the complex issue of interlanguage pragmatics.


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