Spanish Discourse Analysis

Task: to carry out a linguistic analysis of the realization of compliments (option A), requests (option B) OR thanking (Option C) based on the corpus/corpora provided for each option.


Aspects to be examined:

  • The linguistic realization of the head act in each data set: the use of direct/explicit and indirect/implicit forms; syntactic patterns of direct/explicit forms; semantic patterns (option A). For options A and C: also the moves that make up the act of thanking (e.g. compliments + x speech act(s); or, expressions of thanks + x speech acts).
  • The use of intensifiers (for compliments/thanking) OR mitigators (for requests) in each data set
  • For options A & C: Similarities and differences across data sets

Option A: Similarities and differences in compliments produced by females and males in the two data sets.

Option B: Similarities and differences across the two situations and the two varieties of Spanish.

Option C: Similarities and differences across the two situations in the corpus.

  • Limitations of the study based on the corpus available


An analysis of this type would normally include the following sections:

  • Aims of the study and rationale (why the study is of interest)
  • Description of data examined and consideration of issues on data/data collection methodology (e.g. limitations of the study) (you need to refer to e.g. Shiveley, Zhu Hua or Kasper’s chapters on methodology) (see reading list).
  • Description of classificatory framework/categories employed (e.g. classification into direct and indirect compliments or requests, etc.) with examples from the data
  • Description and discussion of patterns found (supported by relevant evidence)
  • Conclusions, including implications of study
  • References (references should be presented in full and attention needs to be paid to academic conventions for their presentation). References are not included in the word count.







Option A:  Contrastive linguistic analysis of compliments to celebrities on Facebook

Task: To carry out a contrastive linguistic analysis of compliment realization among fans of two celebrities -one woman and one man- on Facebook, based on the two selected corpora.


Your main aim is to identify linguistic (and paralinguistic if appropriate) patterns of usage among Facebook users in the two data sets and any variation in complimenting behaviour across the two data sets.  In your analysis also consider the topic of the compliments (appearance, ability, personality, etc.) and variation (if any) across data sets.


You need to carry out your analysis with reference to key studies on compliments (i.e., Wolfson and Manes’ work on American English) as well as at least 3 relevant studies by Hispanists. Reading 1-2 works on ‘piropos’ as opposed to ‘cumplidos’ will also help you with your analysis. You also need to refer to at least one work on complimenting behaviour in social media and on e.g. the use of emojis and other medium-specific devices (see bibliography in reading list). Finally, you will also need to refer to grammars and dictionaries where relevant (to be included in the references) and may need to seek help from native speakers to better understand the function of particular forms. Briz and Albelda Marco (2019), Fuentes Rodríguez (2013) Briz’s (1998) chapters on the module reading list can help you with your analysis of intensifying mechanisms.



For the presentation of your results, it can be useful to employ tables and figures (e.g. bar charts) (MEP can provide guidance on how to convert numerical data into figures).







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