Журнал: Научный журнал «Студенческий форум» выпуск №2(225)

Рубрика: Филология

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Ramushevich E. COMPLIMENT SPEECH ACT IN AMERICAN AND RUSSIAN TV SHOWS // Студенческий форум: электрон. научн. журн. 2023. № 2(225). URL: https://nauchforum.ru/journal/stud/225/122861 (дата обращения: 19.05.2024).
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Ramushevich Elizaveta
Student, Grodno State University named after Yanka Kupala, Republic of Belarus, Grodno
Ovchinnikova Nelli
научный руководитель, Scientific director, Associate Professor, Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, Republic of Belarus, Grodno




Рамушевич Елизавета Александровна

студент, Гродненский государственный университет имени Янки Купалы, РБ, г. Гродно

Овчинникова Нелли Николаевна

научный руководитель, доцент, Гродненский государственный университет имени Янки Купалы,  РБ, г. Гродно


Currently, one of the important aspects of modern linguistics is the consideration of circumstances that affect the effectiveness of intercultural communication, especially on the interpersonal level. In our everyday life, a special place is occupied by such a communicative act as a compliment. In the theory of speech acts, the performance of a certain kind of action (in our case a compliment) is the main part of a communicative process and is called an illocutionary act. The illocutionary act is aimed at achieving a certain perlocutionary effect, that is, a change in the behaviour of the interlocutor under the influence by our message [4].

The main function of a compliment speech act is to establish and maintain friendly relations with the interlocutor through the expression of positive assessment of his or her appearance, character, and personal qualities, because on the psychological level, a person always needs positive emotions, which is reflected in our actions on the communicative level. The author of a compliment calls, first of all, to the emotions and feelings of the addressee, seeking a communicative rapprochement with him or her. A compliment can also be used as a positive assessment in relation to an unfamiliar person or as an attempt to please a person standing on a higher level of the social hierarchy [1, c. 14]. Sometimes compliments are used to express sarcastic assessment. In such expressions one can consider only the image of a compliment. The content side and the target orientation convey a different meaning.

It is extremely important to distinguish a compliment from praise. The object of a compliment is a person, while the object of praise is not only a person, but also actions, things, events, phenomena, etc. [1, c. 4]. To accurately understand these definitions, we turned to dictionaries and other sources.

N. I. Formanovskaya defines a compliment as a kind of speech action: “Compliment, approval, as well as sympathy, are speech actions aimed at encouraging the interlocutor, at creating one’s good mood” [6, с. 173].

According to the Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language praise is “a good, flattering assessment of someone or something, approval, something that meets the highest requirements” [5].

Based on these definitions, it can be concluded that a compliment is an evaluative speech action aimed at maintaining or developing social contact and expressing the desire to tell the interlocutor something pleasant about him / her as a person. Praise is rather an informative action aimed at giving a positive assessment of the actions of the interlocutor or the result of his / her activity.

Compliments are actively used in television shows. It is worth noticing that while in everyday life people use compliments to express politeness, on television they are used to draw attention to what is happening and to arouse interest among viewers. In order to analyze the intercultural peculiarities of the usage of compliments we turned to American TV show “The masked singer” [7] and Russian TV show “The mask” [3]. The American sample is based on season 1 consisting of 9 episodes, each of them lasting for 45 minutes. The number of participants in episode 1 is 12, and with each subsequent episode this number is reduced by one. The total is 72 performances. The Russian sample is based on season 3 consisting of 12 episodes lasting for 2.5 hours. In episode 1, the number of participants was 14, and just like in the American version it is decreased by one with each new episode. In order to equate the samples we analyzed the first 6 episodes of the Russian TV show (69 performances).

“The mask” is a Russian analogue of the American show “The masked singer”. The concept of the two shows is the same – to guess which famous person is singing under the mask. In these programs we observe a large number of compliments to the participants from the jury. In the original version, the jury uses elaborate expressions such as “I can not find the words” («Я не могу подобрать слов»), “I’m totally shocked” («Я в шоке»), “If you are not a musical artist, then you are a liar, because that was unbelievable” («Если Вы не музыкальный исполнитель, тогда Вы – лжец, потому что это было невероятно») and many one-word expressions such as “Wonderful” («Чудесно»), “Beautiful” («Прекрасно»), “Incredible”Невероятно») and the like, accompanying their admiration with nonverbal and paralinguistic cues, because very often the way of saying something is more important than what is said.

In the Russian version, the jury doesn’t skimp in compliments, use them more frequently than the American jury and often exaggerate, e. g.: «Такой красоты в жизни не встречал. У меня галлюцинации», «Он такой воспитанный и интеллигентный. Он не перестает удивлять своим умом и сдержанностью. Очень круто рассуждает, а хореография – отпад», «Обожаю ее воспитанность и естественность. А ее стиль – просто шик. Красавица. Глаз не оторвать», «Нам повезло, что эта маска все еще с нами. Мы не могли лишиться этого маленького шедевра, такого бриллианта».

There are also some differences in the reaction to compliments. In American “The Masked Singer”, the participants are devoid of many emotions. The masks hide their faces and it is not clear how they react to this or that statement addressed to them. They stand straight on their feet and listen carefully. In the Russian “The mask”, the masks do not interfere with recognizing participants’ nonverbal behaviour. We can easily see and here how embarrassed they are when they are bowing their heads to the floor, looking away for a second, trying to thank and failing in connecting the words.

Based on these shows it can be concluded that Americans often pay compliments to the vocal skills of the participants, while Russians compliment not only on the voice, but also personal qualities and appearance. In these shows we can observe how compliments vary in their form. The main part of compliments can be reduced to the minimum semantic unit, expressed by basic definitions such as cute, cool, beautiful, funny accompanied by paralinguistic or nonverbal codes. For example, in both shows compliments were accompanied by an increase in pitch, the rise in intonation, expressive hand gestures, and intense facial expressions.

We also have noticed that compliments on TV are often accompanied by various stylistic devices, such as hyperbole (“I can’t take my eyes off her”), metaphor (“He’s such a diamond”), comparison (“She’s singing like Lady Gaga”), etc. A compliment can be complemented by admiration. In this case, as a rule, admiration comes first and then a complimentary assessment follows (“Wow! What a touching performance”). Admiration here implies the sincerity of the author’s words.

After analyzing these two shows we came to the conclusion that the use of stylistically loaded words when giving compliments on TV is more typical for representatives of the Russian culture. Russians are more open in expressing their feelings and don’t hesitate to use these techniques to a large audience, while Americans are more restrained and precise in their expressions.

Thus, compliments are an excellent object for the intercultural study of the joint communication actions intended to create, strengthen, maintain, reproduce, and transform interpersonal relationships [2]. Compliments play an important role in any culture and are expressed differently everywhere. However, all of them have the same goal which is to establish rapport in communication.


Список литературы:
1. Волынкина С.В. Речевые жанры похвалы и комплимента в бытовой сфере общения и коммуникативной среде телевизионного ТОК-ШОУ: Автореф. дис. канд. филол. наук: спец. 10.02.01 «Русский язык» / С.В. Волынкина. – Красноярск, 2009. – 24 с.
2. Леонтьев В.В. Взгляд на комплименты в рамках дискурсивного подхода в изучении лингвистической вежливости // Коммуникация. Мышление. Личность: материалы междунар. науч. конф., посвященной памяти профессоров И.Н. Горелова и К.Ф. Седова (г. Саратов, 12–14.10.2012). – Саратов: СГУ, 2012. – 14 с.
3. Маска [Электронный ресурс] // KINOGO. – URL: https://kinogo.bz/type/tv-shou/4375-tv-maska-2020.html (дата обращения: 06.01.2023).
4. Остин Дж.Л. Слово как действие // Новое в зарубежной лингвистике: Теория речевых актов. – Вып. XVII. – М.: Прогресс, 1986. – С. 22–129.
5. Похвала [Электронный ресурс] // Толковый словарь русского языка. – URL: https://rus-dmitriev-tolk-dict.slovaronline.com/4007-%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%85%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%B0 (дата обращения: 06.01.2023).
6. Формановская Н.И. Речевой этикет и культура общения. – М.: Высшая школа, 1989. – 347 с.
7. The Masked Singer [Electronic resource] // Tinyzone. – URL: https://tinyzonetv.to/watch-tv/watch-the-masked-singer-2019-free-38698.5001220 (date of access: 06.01.2023).