María Isabel Hernández Toribio y Luis Deltell Escolar, 2017: "Cumplidos y halagos en el español peninsular: ¿cuestión de términos?",
Onomázein 37, 188-210.
In this paper we will review some of the theoretical aspects of a specific type of evaluative
act, the ‘compliment’ in Peninsular Spanish. We will bring into focus some terminological issues
such as the difference between ‘cumplidos’ (‘compliment’) and ‘halagos’ (‘flattery’): even
though both terms are currently in use, not only in Peninsular Spanish —field of our study— but also in the Hispanic world in general, they are used almost interchangeably. Furthermore,
we will analyse the roles compliments play, either as spontaneous acts whose purpose is just
showing solidarity and affection, or as those that go beyond spontaneous and disinterested
evaluations of the other person, or even as those that could be considered a type of normative
politeness required by certain situations. In addition, we will review compliments as acts
of speech that are ‘marked’ (both positively and negatively) or ‘unmarked’ from the point of
view of politeness.