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A. Research Background

In communication, language functions for keeping a social relationship. Related to this, Wolfson ( in Wolfson & Judd, 1983:8 ) says that it is true that giving compliment is one of the ways in which middle class Americans open conversations, nonnative speakers desirous of social interaction with members of the target language speech community will need to know a great deal more if they are to be successful in making friends. Thus the fact that compliments are formulaic in nature has a great advantage to speakers that in prevents misunderstandings and minimizes the differences which play havoc with reason for the compliment having functions in creation or maintenance of the rapport between interlocutors ( Wolfson, 1983: 86 ). Therefore, it can be said that compliment is one of the speech acts useful to form social relationships with others.

Moreover, Wolfson states that compliments are given and received by women and men of varying socioeconomic groups, levels of education and occupation. Even, more important, perhaps the relationships of the interlocutors are equally varied, so that we have exchanged between total strangers, family members, intimate friends and colleagues and more acquaintances. In some cases, the interlocutors are similar age and status ( Wolfson, 1983:84 ).


One of the simplest yet most essential functions of language is that of social maintenance; language helps to define particular community. Wardhaugh states that American depends on a large extent on the expression of approval for the creation and maintenance of social relationship (1976:76). Related to this, compliments as one of the classification of speech acts reflects and express cultural values because of their nature as judgments, overt expressions of approval or admiration of another’s work, appearance, or taste. Besides the value mentioned before, newness is also another cultural value which is positively noticed and commented in a complimentary way. With respect to the way in which cultural values are reflected by compliments, it can be said that compliment may function as a form of positive reinforcement in social maintenance.

In daily communication, a compliment functions to establish or to reinforce solidarity or rapport between interlocutors. The exchanges of compliments, for instance, on new acquisition (such as new cars, outfits or houses) between neighbors can create solidarity between them, especially when the interlocutors have not been in recent contract. Parents can also maintain a rapport with their children by giving a compliment on their good work. For instance, parents give the children a compliment by saying “you are smart” when their children get a good mark at school. Giving a compliment to children is also important to let them know that they are appreciated. It is also useful to encourage them to keep up the good work. For the speaker from the upper class status, the giving of a compliment commonly concerns with ability and performance more than appearance. For instance, a boss expresses a compliment to comment his/her employees on a good work. Generally, this is intended to encourage the employees to keep their good works.

Considering the above phenomena, the researcher is interested in analyzing the types of the topics of compliment, the compliment functions, and the compliment responses expressed by the characters in the film entitled Music and Lyrics. The compliments are differentiated based on their types of compliment, functions, and responses. To give a clearer understanding, this following example is included as follows:

The conversation below occurs in a recording company office in the meeting room. The participants are a producer of a recording company and Alex. The topic of the conversation is “Battle of the 80s Has-Been”. Alex is very interested in the expression of the other producer recording company’s idea.

Producer of recording company


Tonight we find out the “Battle of the 80s Has Been”. We think it’s gonna be bigger than American Idol.



Well, I love it.

It’s brilliant on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start.

Producer of recording company


Good for you, because some of the people we’ve approached….

…..have had a little problem with the term “has- been”.

Alex is one of the members of the POP Band. It was the biggest band in the ‘80s and today it is known as Colin Thompson old group. All of the members of the group have gone. They don’t exist anymore. Now, Alex Fletcher appears and he has been offered by a producer of recording company to hold “Battle of the 80s Has-Been”. He is among the members of POP Band and also the well known superstar at the time.

The event will be followed by other bands and it is expected that they can share each other what happened to them. They can show their talents and skills to their fans since they have not done any performances on TV after the long time. Another advantage from this event is to strengthen the relationship among the members of POP Band and other artists such as from REO Speed wagon, Flock of Seagulls, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.

When there is a producer proposing the idea of “Battle of 80s Has Been”, Alex immediately accepts it. The producer says that the event will be more successful than American Idol, since there are superstars gathering to show their performance. Even though there are some people having little problem with the term “Has Been”, Alex feels that there is no problem with this idea. Alex also gives a compliment related to the producer’s of recording company specific-act ability. Alex spontaneously delivers the compliment by saying “It’s brilliant on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start”. He chooses a positive adjective (brilliant) to express his positive intention. Therefore in this case, Alex’s compliment functions as an expression of approval.

The producer of the recording company as the addressee accepts Alex’s compliment by using verbal response.

The types of topics of compliment having various functions are found in the film entitled Music and Lyrics. Moreover, the responses are also expressed in various ways. Based on the phenomenon above, the writer is interested to conduct an analysis of compliment in the form of thesis entitled: COMPLIMENTS IN THE FILM ENTITLED MUSIC AND LYRICS (A Socio-Pragmatics Approach)

B. Problem Statement

Based on the research background, the problem statements are arranged as follows:

  1. What types of topic of compliments are employed by the characters in the film entitled Music and Lyrics?
  2. What are the functions of each type of topic of compliments in the film Music and Lyrics?
  3. How do the addresses respond to the compliments applied in the film Music and Lyrics?

    1. Research Limitation

There are many kinds of speech acts found in the film entitled Music and Lyrics. However, the research is only focused on the speech act of compliment. This research is also limited on the types of topics of compliment, the compliment functions, and the compliment responses applied by the characters and the analysis of the situation in which the types of topics of compliment expressed on the addressee or on the quality or person closely related to the addressee.

    1. Research Objectives

The objectives of this research are:

  1. To describe the types of topics of compliments employed by the characters in the film entitled Music and Lyrics.
  2. To describe the functions of each type of topics of compliments responses expressed by the addressees in the film entitled Music and Lyrics.
  3. To explain the compliment responses applied by the addressees in the film entitled Music and Lyrics.

    1. Research Benefit

This research is expected to give contribution as follows:

  1. The reader

The researcher hopes that this research will give an understanding to the reader, especially the students of English Department in studying Speech Act, especially compliments.

  1. Other researcher

The others researcher for they will have more references for further research in the sociolinguistics and the related field, especially in investigating speech act formula from many different point of views.

3. The writer

By conducting this research, the writer gets more understanding about a speech act formula, namely compliment. Besides, the writer knows many types of topics of compliment with the functions and responses.

    1. Research Methodology

This research employs a descriptive qualitative method covering several steps namely collecting data, classifying data, analyzing data, and drawing the conclusion. The source of the data of this research is the film entitled Music and Lyrics. Purposive sampling technique is applied to collect data containing compliments and compliment responses.

G. Thesis Organization

The thesis organization is arranged as follows:

CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION consists of Research Background, Problem Statement, research Limitation, Research Objectives, Research Benefits, Research Methodology, and Thesis Organization.

CHAPTER 11 : LITERATUR REVIEW consists of Sociolinguistics, Ethnography of Communication, Pragmatics, Speech Acts, Direct and Indirect, Kinesics, Domain of Language Use, Socio-Pragmatics, Synopsis of the Film, and Review of Related Study.

CHAPTER 111 : RESEARCH METHODOLOGY consists of type of Study and Research Method, Data and Source of Data, Sample and Sampling Technique of Collecting Data, data Coding, and Technique of Analyzing Data.



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