Responses to Thanks in Ireland, England and Canada: A Variational Pragmatic Perspective

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


The present study investigates responses to thanks across the varieties of Irish English, English English and Canadian English. Data are taken from the Lueneburg Direction-Giving (LuDiG) corpus, a specialised corpus of spoken direction-giving exchanges across pluricentric varieties constructed using Labovian-style methods. The analysis centres on the cross-varietal pragmatic choices made in responding to thanks on the level of tokens, types and strategies. Findings point to the broad universality of realisations of responses to thanks across the pluricentric varieties at hand. Variety-preferential choices are, however, also recorded on a national level, particularly in type and strategy preferences. While all varieties use a ‘minimising the favour’ strategy extensively, this strategy is employed to a comparatively higher degree in the Irish English and English English data. In contrast, the speakers of Canadian English use an ‘expressing appreciation of the addressee’ strategy to a comparatively larger extent. Speakers of Canadian English are suggested to orient more strongly to positive face needs, and speakers of Irish English and English English more strongly towards negative face needs. The paper also discusses the methodological challenges of contrasting spoken interactional data for cross-varietal pragmatic speech act analyses and shows some strengths of specialised corpora in this regard.

ZeitschriftCorpus Pragmatics
Seiten (von - bis)127-153
Anzahl der Seiten27
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.06.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
I would like to thank the special issues editors and two external reviewers for valuable input. Thanks also to Emily Black and Daniel Popp for support in the collection and coding of the present data and to Luisa Martens and Tessa Niels for support with formatting. All limitations remain the responsibility of the author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).