Publication details [#54939]

Orthaber, Sara and Rosina Márquez-Reiter. 2011. “Talk to the hand”. Complaints to a public transport company. Journal of Pragmatics 43 (15) : 3860–3876.
Publication type
Article in journal
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Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


This study explores the construction of complaints in service calls to a Slovenian public transport service company. After discussing facts and details of the complaints, the agent either provides, or does not provide, a solution; and, at this point, the call is closed. Face manifestations are observed via the complaint sequences, as clarified by the incidence of extreme case formulations, negative observations, threats, etc. The results also suggest that the ways in which the complaints are managed reflect the company's business practices, influenced by numerous bureaucratic barriers.