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Submitted as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of SarjanaSastra



Registration Number : 2123220037





I have familirized myself with the University’s Policy on Academic

integrity. Except where appropriately acknowledge, this thesis is my own work, has been expresses in my own words, and has not been previously submitted for assessment. I understand that this paper may be screened electronically or otherwise for plagiarism.

Medan, September 2016




Silitonga, Try Sari. 2123220037. Compliments and The Responses in Terms of Gender Differences by Some Characters in Killers Movie. A Thesis.Faculty of Languages and Arts.State University of Medan. 2016.

The title of this thesis is Compliments and The Responses in Terms of Gender

Differences by Some Characters in Killers Movie. This study was aimed

toanalyzedthetopics of compliments, the types of compliment responses and why they were used by some characters’ utterancesin Killers movie. The data of this study were taken from the utterances by some characters in Killers movie deals with the compliments and compliment responses. The writer applied the theory from Manes & Wolfson (1981) about the topics of compliment and the theory from Herbert about the types of compliment responses (1990). Manes & Wolfson divided the topics of compliments in two categories they are (1) Compliment on Appearance, which are divided into two types, they are Personal Appearance and Possession (2) Compliment on Skills/Abilities which are divided into two types, General Ability and Specific-Act Ability. The types of compliment responses are (1) Appreciation Token, (2) Comment Acceptance, (3) Praise Upgrade, (4) Comment History, (5) Reassignment, (6) Return, (7) Scale Down, (8) Question, (9) Disagreement, (10) Qualification, (11) No Acknowledgment, (12) Request Interpretation. There were 41 utterances ofsome characters in Killers movie that indicate the topics of compliments and the dominant one isskills/abilities. There are 27 utterances that indicate the types of compliment responses, 8of which dealt with Appreciation Token, 2with Comment Acceptance, 1with Return, Question and Qualification, and 9 with No Acknowledgement.




First of all the writer would like to thank Jesus Christ for the blessings during her academic year at English and Literature Department Faculty of Languages and Arts (FBS) State University of Medan in completing the thesis. The writer is also very grateful to the following people:

Prof. Dr. SyawalGultom, M.Pd, the Rector of State University of Medan. Dr. IsdaPramuniati, M.Hum, the Dean of Faculty of Languages and Arts

(FBS) State University of Medan for her advice and encouragement to complete the study.

Prof. Dr. Hj. Sumarsih, M.Pd, the Head of English and Literature

Departmentas well asDra. Meisuri, M.A, the Secretary of English and Literature Department for their encouragement and motivation during the writing of the thesis. SyamsulBahri, S.S, M.Hum, the Head of English Literature study programand Nora Ronita Dewi, S.S, S.Pd, M.Hum,the Head of English Education Program for their encouragement to complete the thesis.

Dra. Masitowarni Siregar, M.Ed,her consultant, who has patiently given

advice, motivation, suggestion, and correction during the completion of her thesis, and also for Drs. Muhammad Natsir, S.S., M.Hum,as her consultant and academic advisor for guiding and supervising her during the study.

Indra Hartoyo, S.Pd., M.Hum, and IsliIriani I. Pane, S.Pd.,M.Hum, the writer’s Examiners who had given valuable advice and suggestion to

her for the thesis.

All the Lecturers of English and Literature Department during her

academic years at State University of Medan, who have taught and given knowledges to her encouragement and invaluable advices to complete this thesis.

Eis Sri Wahyuni, M.Pd, the Administration Staff of English Department,



Her beloved parents, (Alm.) Bambang Perwira Silitonga, S.Th.,

M.A,and (Alm.) Marice Hutajulu, the deepest gratitude for their

everlasting love, greatest supports, caring, and prayers to the writer. They have become the greatest motivation an inspiration to the writer in completing the thesis.

 Thanks and love to the writer’s brother and sisters, Wendy Nata Christian Silitonga, S.E,Evy Septiawani Silitonga, S.S and Debby Sartika Silitonga, S.E, who have sincerely given great affection,

encouragement, financial support and have become her main motivation to complete the study.

Her wonderful friends, Via Harahap and Ridho Wibowo for giving her support, happiness, unforgettable moment, for sharing about love and life, attendance in any situation, for making her not alone.

Her beloved friendsMutia Cimi, Captain Tyo and Kak Tasya, for the four years and still counting friendship.

Her all beloved classmates in English Literature B 2012for the support and time in motivated and accompanied her during the academic years.

Medan, September 2016 The writer




A. The Background of Study ... 1

A. Theoretical Framework... 6

1.Compliment ... 6

2. Topics of Compliment ... 7

a.Compliment on Appearance ... 9

1) Personal Appearance ... 9

2) Possession... 9

b.Compliment on Skills/Abilities ... 10

1) General Ability ... 10

2) Specific-act Ability ... 10

3.Compliment Responses ... 10

4.Types of Compliment Responses ... 11

a. Appreciation Token ... 13

b. Comment Acceptance ... 13

c. Praise Upgrade ... 13



l. Request Interpretation... 15

5.Gender Differences in the Act of Complimenting ... 15

B. Synopsis of the Movie ... 19

C. Relevant Studies ... 20

D. Conceptual Framework... 22


A. Research Design ... 23

B. The Source of Data ... 23

C. The Techniquesof Collecting Data ... 24

D. The Techniquesof Analyzing Data ... 24


A. Data ... 25

B. Data Analysis ... 25

1. Compliments Shown by Some Characters in Killers Movie ... 26

a.Compliment on Appearance ... 26

1) Personal Appearance ... 26

2) Possession... 28

b.Compliment on Skills/Abilities ... 29

1) General Ability ... 29

2) Specific-act Ability ... 30

2.Compliment Responses Shown by Characters in Killers Movie .. 31

a. Appreciation Token ... 31

b. Comment Acceptance ... 33



d. Question ... 35

e. Qualification ... 35

f. No Acknowledgement ... 36

C. Research Findings ... 37


A. Conclusions ... 40

B. Suggestions ... 41











A. The Background of Study

Sociolinguistics is the study of language in relation to society. Sociolinguists are interested in explaining why people speak differently in different social contexts. And the effect of social factors such as social distance, social status, age, gender and class. Language can be considered as a medium for transmitting a message, information, or idea from speaker to hearer. One of the utterances that people often use in conversation through language is compliment and compliment response.

Compliment is often found in the conversation of everyday life within people in the society. People give compliment in order to establish and maintain a good social relationship. Compliment is an expression of adoring, praising or admiring toward someone. It can happen between people who have different social status, gender and age. Because of the differences, the act of giving compliments toward someone may vary.

In the field of this study, many linguists as well as the writer are interested in the acts of giving compliment. For example, Wolfson and Manes (1978, 1980) conducted their research on compliment among middle class Americans. They found that women are frequent receive compliment regardless of their status. In contrast, men are usually in higher status and they rarely received



compliment that is related to their performance and their ability. Generally

people give compliment based on two things, that is, compliment on someone’s

performance and compliment on someone’s ability. Besides the act of giving

compliments that may vary, the expression of the compliment responses also has enormous variations because of social status, age and gender differences of the participant.

In this study, the writer uses gender differences factors in determining the way people compliment and also responded to the compliment. The conversation that consists of the act of complimenting could happen in the movie considering that movie is based on what happens in real daily life conversation. Gender differences can be one of the important influences for people in giving compliment and responding the compliment in relation to the movie writer chooses.

For that reason, the object of investigation in this study will be taken from

a movie entitled “Killers”. Killers” is categorized as an American romantic



when they discover their neighbors could be assassins who have been contracted to kill them.

The writer chooses “Killers” as her source of data because in this film the

writer found the uniqueness in the act of complimenting related to the gender differences of the characters. In this movie, Spencer really loves Jen and he is ready and willing to sacrifice a great deal to protect her. Jen loves Spencer, too. In this case, gender differences will influence the way the characters give compliment and also respond to it.

Here one of the examples of compliment expression and its response are applied by the main characters.

Jen : Spence, you remodeled my office. It’s so organized. Spencer : Okay, you can kiss me now.

One of the compliment on skills/abilities can be seen in the conversation

mentioned above. In this conversation, Jen praised Spencer, she said “Spence,

you remodeled my office. It’s so organized.” It is a compliment on

skills/abilities because Spencer has done his task. From the conversation above, it can also be seen that Spencer responded to Jen’s compliment by saying

Okay, you can kiss me now”. This response is appreciation token. This



In conducting this research the writer focuses on the compliments and the responses in the utterances by some characters that is Jen, Spencer, Mr and Mrs. Kornfeldt, and Mac through the entire conversation in the movie.

B. The Problem of Study

Based on the background of the study above, the problems of this study are:

1. What topics of compliment used by some characters in their dialogues in “Killers” Movie?

2. What types of compliment responses are used by some characters in their dialogues in “Killers” Movie?

3. Why are the types of compliment and compliment responses used by some characters?

C. The Objectives of Study

The objectives of this study based on the problems described previously are:

1. To identify the topics of compliment used by some characters in their dialogues in “Killers” Movie.

2. To find out the types of compliment responses used by some characters in their dialogues in “Killers” Movie.



D. The Scope of Study

This study is limited for analyzing and explaining the compliments and compliment responses expression which used by some characters in Killers movie. The analysis will be studied based on the theory of Compliment by Manes and Wolfson and Compliment Response by Herbert.

E. The Significance of Study

The findings of the study are expected to be useful for studies and readers: 1. To improve the knowledge about the way male and female vary in

giving compliments and compliment response.



1. Following Manes and Wolfson’s classification, some characters in Killers movie employ two topics of compliment, namely the topic of appearance and topic of skills/abilities. Each topic is divided into two types. The topic of appearance is divided into personal appearance and possession, while the topic of skills/abilities is divided into general ability and specific-act ability. Therefore, there are four topics of compliment that are employed by some characters in Killers movie. The topics are personal appearance, possession, general ability, and specific-act ability. Both females and males compliment other people's skills/abilities more than other topic; and the appearance takes up second place.

2. Considering the ways and the intentions of the delivered compliments, the addressees also respond to the compliments in various ways. There are six types of compliment responses that are employed by some characters in Killers Movie. In responding the compliments, most of the addressees use the first type of the compliment responses, namely appreciation token. The appreciation token includes verbal and



nonverbal acceptance. There are five data including verbal appreciation token. Moreover, there are six data including nonverbal appreciation token. The addressee only smile and laugh when they respond to the compliment. In this context, the addressee’s smile and laugh are interpreted as a simple acceptance of the compliments. 3. In this movie, gender differences did not influence the ways used in

expressing compliments between characters. However, in this current study, women more often receive praise not because as the basis of gender.

B. Suggestions

There are several suggestions that writer could offer to readers towards compliment and the responses, they are:

1. For English department students, they may use this study as a reference to understand the study of Sociolinguistics related to compliment behavior based on gender differences and apply it in the daily life especially in giving and respond. In addition, they can observe the differences between males and females in compliment behavior in order to give appropriate strategy in giving and responding to it.






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Table 4.1 The Data Number of Topics of Compliment ................................

Table 4.1

The Data Number of Topics of Compliment ................................ p.12