Compliments and Requests
(3,906 words)

1. Compliments

A compliment is a polite speech act which explicitly or implicitly attributes credit to someone for something which is valued positively by the speaker and the hearer (Holmes 1986; Ye 1995). Research shows that for English speaking Americans, the major function of compliments is to establish and maintain social “rapport” between participants or a “reinforcement and/or creation of solidarity” between speaker and addressee (Mane…

Cite this page
Cher Leng LEE, “Compliments and Requests”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 12 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2015

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