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Doing more than expected. Thanking recognizes another’s agency in providing assistance

  • In informal interaction, speakers rarely thank a person who has complied with a request. Examining data from British English, German, Italian, Polish, and Telugu, we ask when speakers do thank after compliance. The results show that thanking treats the other’s assistance as going beyond what could be taken for granted in the circumstances. Coupled with the rareness of thanking after requests, this suggests that cooperation is to a great extent governed by expectations of helpfulness, which can be long-standing, or built over the course of a particular interaction. The higher frequency of thanking in some languages (such as English or Italian) suggests that cultures differ in the importance they place on recognizing the other’s agency in doing as requested.

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Author:Jörg ZinkenORCiDGND, Giovanni Rossi, Vasudevi ReddyGND
Parent Title (English):Mobilizing Others. Grammar and lexis within larger activities
Series (Serial Number):Studies in language and social interaction (33)
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Editor:Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm, Emma Betz, Peter Golato
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2020
Date of Publication (online):2020/10/04
Tag:agency; cooperation; courses of action; cultural diversity; expectation; gratitude; offers; recruitment; requests; thanking
GND Keyword:Dank; Direktiv; Erwartung; Kontrastive Pragmatik; Konversationsanalyse; Kooperation
First Page:253
Last Page:278
Dewey Decimal Classification:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Kontrastive Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Pragmalinguistik / Kommunikationsforschung
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG