Christopher Hopkinson


The article reports on a study of restaurant-owners’ public online responses to negative
customer reviews on the TripAdvisor website, exploring the differences between the
practices used by L1 English and lingua franca English (ELF) speakers when performing
public apologies. The focus is on the occurrence and linguistic realizations of two key
components of apologies: illocutionary force indicating devices (IFIDs) and accounts of
the incident. The results indicate certain differences between the L1 and ELF responses –
both in the use of IFIDs (the IFIDs in the ELF responses are more frequently ambiguous
in terms of their illocution) and in the amount of facework done (the L1 responses use
facework resources more proficiently, while the ELF responses are more face-neutral).


apologies; contrastive pragmatics; facework; internet genres; lingua franca; speech acts

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