• O. V. Deychakivska
Keywords: speech act, expressive, addresser, addressee, communicative situation


The article is devoted to the study of predicative adjectives as a means of expressing compliment. Along with J. Searle’s classification the speech act of compliment is analyzed in light of Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory and from the point of view of drawing the border line between the phatic and sincere compliment. It has been proved that construction Vcop+Adj as well as a verb in case of expressing compliments serves as a means of expressing positive evaluation including satisfaction, adoration or approval. The illocutionary aim of the construction expressing compliment is also to affect the emotional state of the addressee, their inner values and to establish solidarity and communicative equilibrium between the participants of the situation. Compliment is also a strong means of inducing the listener to perform certain actions, make concessions or achieve the desirable complimentary actions. In its pragmatic function compliment’s manifestation is most often demonstrated in the positive appraisal of person’s appearance, their positive traits of character, professional and moral qualities of the addressees or their relatives, their achievements and also property. The realization of the abovementioned aims, namely the achievement of the addressee’s kind attitude by paying them compliments, depends on the knowledge of the informational thesaurus of the communicants, their psychological characteristics, specific features of the communicative interaction. On the syntactic level to enhance the expressiveness of the compliments predicative adjectives are used with different intensifiers, interjections and interrogative pronouns. In case of complimenting of great importance is also the status of the speaker and the hearer. If the status of the communicants is equal or if the addresser’s status is higher than the answer of the listener is positive, polite, with some implicit attempt to smooth exaggeration. Yet the reaction may be quite different if the compliment is paid by the person whose status is lower. While trying to draw a border line between the compliment and other similar speech acts, for example praise, some similar semantic features has been found making the differentiation rather difficult, yet putting emphasis on the more interactional character of the compliment. From the point of view of the position in the discourse the construction Vcop+Adj is the initiative speech act followed by the continuation of discourse.


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How to Cite
Deychakivska, O. V. (2020). PREDICATIVE ADJECTIVES AS A MEANS OF EXPRESSING COMPLIMENT. Bulletin of Zaporizhzhia National University. Philological Sciences, 1(1), 56-62.