Giving and Interpreting Compliments in English and Kurdish Private-Sector Workplace as a Sample

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Bikhtiyar O. Fattah


Compliment as one of the language strategies is used to soften the process of interactions. The way that compliments are given or interpreted as well as the frequency of using them vary from a language to another, from a community to another, and from a person to another. This study tries to track down compliments to illustrate their differences and the similarities in both concerned communities. Complimenting as a lubricant strategy does not always fulfill the purpose, and cannot always be easily employed due to the interactants' differences in terms of cultural backgrounds, social status, gender, and many other social and personal issues. Therefore, giving compliments is regarded as one of the problematic issues, and may cause a kind of misunderstanding among the interactants particularly in a cross-cultural environment. This study draws on both quantitative and qualitative approaches in the process of data collection.  It aims at examining the giving and interpretation of compliment from a socio-pragmatic perspective. It comprehensively considers the concept of compliment, diversity of compliments across cultures, the differences in giving compliments in English and Kurdish as well as showing the relationship between compliment and flattery in these two different communities.  


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Fattah, B. O. (2020) “Giving and Interpreting Compliments in English and Kurdish: Private-Sector Workplace as a Sample”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(1), pp. 21-30. doi: 10.14500/kujhss.v3n1y2020.pp21-30.
Author Biography

Bikhtiyar O. Fattah, Department of English Language, Faculty of Education, Koya University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Bikhtiyar got B.A. degree at Salahaddin University and got M.A. at Koya University. He specialized in English Linguistics; specifically, interested in Pragmatics and Discourse analysis. He has been teaching at Koya University since 2009. I attended many English language and English linguistic courses outside the country; namely, at Bilkent University/ Turkey; and at Sheffield Hallam University/ the United Kingdom. Also, He attended and presented many seminars inside and outside the country, such as: Huddersfield University, Sheffield Hallam University, Loughborough University and many more. In addition to the aforementioned, I am a member of the Politeness Research Group.        


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