Creativity in compliment responses in Japanese everyday talk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores how participants respond to compliments in Japanese everyday interactions. Even though compliments and responses (C-R) make a well-established format that contains a relatively high degree of fixedness and social and temporal restrictions, examinations of video-recorded Japanese conversation data show that a compliment recipient (Rt) handles a compliment delivered by a compliment giver (Gv) in a range of creative uses of language and the body. Focusing on negative responses that often start with iyaiya "no no", we show that, in addition to formulaic responses, an Rt may add creative comments and/or perform embodied actions to partially accept the compliment or shift the perspective of the compliment. In short, Japanese speakers' responses to compliments are much more creative and nuanced than previously assumed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-394
Number of pages30
JournalEast Asian Pragmatics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • compliment
  • modesty
  • rejection
  • response
  • self-praise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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