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Journal Articles Journal of Pragmatics Year : 2021

Linguistic (in)directness in twitter complaints: A contrastive analysis of railway complaint interactions

Abstract

In this paper we describe and apply a method probing into linguistic (in)directness in complaint tweets. The sample analyzed consists of French-language Twitter complaint interactions, half of which are between the SNCF (the French National Railway company) and its customers and half between the SNCB (the Belgian National Railway company) and its customers. The aim of this paper is two-fold: first, we present and test a methodology that measures the explicitness (or linguistic (in)directness) of complaints, which, we argue, in line with Decock and Depraetere (2018), must be differentiated from perceived (im)politeness or perceived face-threat. Linguistic (in)directness is analyzed in the complete complaint situation, that is, in the first tweet as well as in the ensuing interaction. Secondly, as the sample shows differences in the realization of complaints in two linguistically close communities, we put forward some hypotheses concerning the relative impact of cultural differences and the companies’ response strategy.

Domains

Linguistics
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Dates and versions

hal-03093228 , version 1 (16-09-2023)

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Ilse Depraetere, Sofie Decock, Nicolas Ruytenbeek. Linguistic (in)directness in twitter complaints: A contrastive analysis of railway complaint interactions. Journal of Pragmatics, 2021, 171, pp.215-233. ⟨10.1016/j.pragma.2020.09.026⟩. ⟨hal-03093228⟩
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