The dynamics of complaining in a Latin American for-profit commercial setting

Márquez Reiter, Rosina (2013). The dynamics of complaining in a Latin American for-profit commercial setting. Journal of Pragmatics, 57 231 - 247.



This paper examines the way in which telephone conversationalists launch, develop and revisit a complaint in a Latin American for-profit commercial service encounter over a long stretch of talk. It concentrates on some of the resources mobilised by the participants to construct the complaint with particular attention to the way in which forms of address and changes in footing are mobilised to seek affiliation and/or display misalignment and indicate face concerns. The findings reveal that the complaint is carefully initiated and made explicit as soon as it becomes clear that the other party does not align with it. The adversarial nature of the talk observed stems from the resistance showed to affiliate with each other and/or align with one another’s project. It is argued that the overtime development and elaboration of the complaint responds to the interpersonally delicate nature of activity, the ways in which the company conducts its business and to standing business practices in this part of the world.

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