L2 English Compliment Responses: An Investigation of Pragmatic Transfer

Supakorn Phoocharoensil


The present study is aimed at examining the compliment responses (CRs) used by Thai EFL learners. It has been discovered from the discourse completion tasks (DCTs) that the learners’ level of English proficiency seemed to determine how they responded to compliments in such a way that the high-proficiency learners apparently employed CR patterns resembling those in American norms. The learners with low proficiency, by contrast, appeared to transfer pragmatic knowledge from their native language, rejecting and downgrading the compliments. The findings evidently bear out the Compliment Response Continuum Hypothesis (Tran, 2007), which claims that the CR strategies which tend to be transferred are at or towards the end of the acceptance to denial continuum.



Compliment responses, pragmatic transfer, interlanguage pragmatics, EFL learners, learners’ proficiency, second language acquisition, intercultural

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.6p.276


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