Realization patterns

How are compliments realized? Are there typical syntactic patterns? Are there typical adjectives? Are there other features that typically occur in compliments?

This set of questions deals with the realization patterns of compliments. Manes and Wolfson (1981) open their seminal paper on compliments with the observation that “one of the most striking facts of compliments in American English is their almost total lack of originality”. By this they refer both to the syntactic patterns and to the range of adjectives that are being used in compliments.

For a discussion of the suitability of different research methods for this particular set of questions see: