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(In)directness and complaints: A reassessment

Abstract : In this, paper we reassess the notion of (in)directness as a tool for the analysis of complaint strategies. Starting from an overview of previous taxonomies of complaints, we show that (in)directness has been used to capture both the degree of explicitness and the degree of face-threat. We argue that it is necessary to disentangle both understandings of (in)directness in order to arrive at a clearer understanding, the distinction between linguistic (in)directness and perceived face-threat being key to the classification of complaint strategies. The proposal, which is based on extensive data analysis of CMC business complaints (e-mail and social media), is more in tune with current theoretical and methodological advances in pragmatics, and it offers accurate insights into degrees and types of linguistic (in)directness in complaints across contexts.
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Contributor : Ilse Depraetere <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 9:08:12 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 1:44:01 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 4:35:28 PM


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Sofie Decock, Ilse Depraetere. (In)directness and complaints: A reassessment. Journal of Pragmatics, Elsevier, 2018, 132, pp.33 - 46. ⟨10.1016/j.pragma.2018.04.010⟩. ⟨halshs-01872299⟩



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