Canadian and Cameroonian English-Speaking University Students’ Compliment Strategies

Bernard Mulo Farenkia


This paper addressees compliment strategies in two regional varieties of English, namely Cameroon English and Canadian English. Data were collected through written Discourse Completion Tasks with 25 Canadian and 25 Cameroonian University students. The study examines similarities and differences between the two groups with regards to move structure and the head act strategies, the use of lexical and syntactic / stylistic devices and the use of supportive moves in six different situations. It was found that the Cameroonians show a very strong preference for single heads whereas the Canadians mostly favor multiple heads and that the Cameroonians use indirect compliments much more than the Canadians. The results reveal that the Canadians employ more lexical elements (adjectives, adverbs, verbs) than the Cameroonians. With regard to external modification of the core compliments, the findings suggest that the Canadians use much more supportive moves, i.e. pre-compliments and post-compliments, than the Cameroonians. Some differences were also found with regard to the situational distribution and types of internal and external modification devices.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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