Response – Field – CA

Pomerantz (1978) works within a conversation analytical model and uses extracts from actual conversations as illustrations of the categorization of compliment responses that she develops, but she does not give any information on the extension and composition of her data or on her data retrieval methods. It was presumably her intimate familiarity with the data that allowed her to find relevant extracts. On the basis of her data she develops a taxonomy of compliment responses and she uses this to account for the way in which speakers resolve the conflict between agreeing with the compliment and avoiding self-praise.

Her taxonomy distinguishes the following categories (Pomerantz 1978: 83-106)

This approach is criticized by Herbert (1989: 11), who argues that this approach fails to provide an indication of the relative frequency of the various types of compliment responses.

Distributional facts are essential to a satisfying treatment of CR behavior, i.e. a taxonomy of forms is merely the prerequisite to a sociolinguistic analysis. (Herbert 1989: 11)

See Response – Field – Diary for Herbert’s (1989) approach using a similar taxonomy derived on the basis of diary data.

Golato (2005), too, used a conversation analytical method to investigate compliments. Her work is based on “30 hours of non-elicited videotaped face-to-face conversations and 6 hours of audiotaped telephone conversation between close friends and family members” (Golato 2005: 24). In chapter 6 of her book, she compares her own data to the taxonomy and the data by Pomerantz (1978). She finds that Germans display the same response types as the Americans but that the Germans produce fewer rejections and disagreements (Golato 2005: 193). This stands in direct contrast to the findings by Schneider and Schneider (2000), who claim that Americans produce fewer rejections than the Germans. (Response – Laboratory – DCTs)