Reconsidering Chinese modesty: Hong Kong and mainland Chinese evaluative judgements of compliment responses
Spencer-Oatey, Helen and Ng, Patrick. (2002) Reconsidering Chinese modesty: Hong Kong and mainland Chinese evaluative judgements of compliment responses. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, Vol.11 (No.2). pp. 181-201. ISSN 0957-6851
WRAP_Spencer-oatey_0673125-cal-290110-spencer-oatey_ng01.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/japc.11.2.05spe
Compliments are usually intended to have a positive effect on interpersonal relations, yet for the outcome actually to be positive, both the compliment and the compliment response need to be handled appropriately. This paper focuses on different types of compliment responses, and explores Chinese people’s evaluative judgements of these different types. Gao and Ting-Toomey (1998) argue that modesty is an important component of Chinese politeness, and that to blatantly accept a compliment is considered impolite. Several studies (e.g. Chen 1993, Yuan 1996 and Loh 1993) have indeed found that compliments are rejected more frequently in Chinese than in English, yet other evidence suggests that acceptance responses are also relatively common in Chinese. This paper explores a number of hypotheses associated with these issues. It reports a study carried out in Mainland China and Hong Kong, and discusses the notion of Chinese modesty in relation to the findings.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Centre for Applied Linguistics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Compliments, Politeness (Linguistics), Courtesy -- China, Interpersonal relations -- China, Intercultural communication|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Journal of Asian Pacific Communication|
|Publisher:||John Benjamins Publishing Co.|
|Page Range:||pp. 181-201|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
Chen, R. (1993) Responding to compliments. A contrastive study of politeness strategies between American English and Chinese speakers. Journal of Pragmatics, 20: 49-75.
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