Sociolinguistic Studies, Estudios de Sociolingüística 3.2 2002

Gendered emotive displays in complaint discourse

Virginia Acuña-Ferreira
Issued Date: 16 Mar 2007

Abstract


Analyses of complaint discourse examine the procedures involved in the interactional management of this communicative activity and the conversational devices employed to invite an affiliative display. In this article, we centre particularly on emotions display in complaint discourse and discuss the gender meaning of certain affective intensification devices. After reviewing previous studies on complaint discourse, we apply methods of conversation analysis and interpretative sociolinguistics to the analysis of conversational extracts, in which female and male speakers complain about the negative behaviour of a third party displaying a high degree of emotive involvement. Our analysis emphasizes the construction of female and male styles, in the display of indignation, through complaint activities in these interactions, and the key role played by prosody in this respect.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v3i2.139

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