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Self and Other in Dialogue

Romance Studies on Discourse and Interaction

Edited By Johan Gille and Coco Norén

This volume contains a collection of papers which deal with Romance linguistics from the perspective of discourse and interaction. Some contributions cover areas such as spoken corpora, speech and linguistic description, and phonetic aspects of speech. Others focus on multimodality, pragmatics, and conversation and discourse, and there are also contributions which deal with speech and sociolinguistics, and speech in multilingualism/bilingualism. This volume is multilingual, containing as it does contributions written in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

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Strategie di risposta ai complimenti sull’aspetto fisico in italiano (Marina Castagneto / Diego Sidraschi)


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Marina Castagneto, Diego Sidraschi1

Strategie di risposta ai complimenti sull’aspetto fisico in italiano


This paper aims to analyse the Italian compliment responses (henceforth, CR) on physical attributes, divided in two categories: natural physical attributes (eyes, hair) and transitory physical attributes (haircut, manicure). Our corpus consists in 321 CR taken from Castagneto & Ravetto corpus (consisting altogether in 1748 compliments): they are all CR on physical attributes elicited by semi-spontaneous interactions among informants coming from Eastern Piedmont.    After having defined the classification framework of typologization (see Castagneto & Ravetto, 2015), this paper shows how the Italian way of handling compliments is undergoing a pragmatic change, becoming more similar to that in use in the USA and in New Zealand: among CR, direct acceptances are increasing, while limited acceptances, felt as very typical of the Italian pragmatics in responding to a compliment, are falling. As the data show, this pragmatic change is started by young people, living in Northern Italy, especially by young women (confirming the assumption of literature on this field).    A better picture of this phenomenon is given by the analysis of two sub-corpora of compliments on physical attributes to unacquainted people, respectively in a unspecified context (164 compliments, 102 on physical attributes) and in a specific context, a fruit market (151 compliments, 86 on physical attributes). A third sub-corpus (123 compliments elicited in Cancello Arnone, province of Caserta, collected to...

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