Object – Field – Corpus

A corpus search for speech acts depends on the availability of typical conventionalized patterns for a particular speech act. Deutschmann (2003), for instance, found that apologies regularly include expressions such as sorry, pardon, excuse, which allow the identification of many, perhaps even most, apologies in a large computerized corpus, such as the BNC. For compliments this is more difficult since compliments are less conventionalized than apologies. They do not display standard illocutionary indicating devices.

Jucker et al. (2008) have tried to transform the compliment patterns proposed by Manes and Wolfson (1981) into search strings in order to retrieve them from a large computerized corpus, such as the British National Corpus (Pattern – Field – Corpus). However, the number of compliments that can be retrieved in this way is severely limited. It does not allow a meaningful analysis of the type of objects that are the subject of compliments.