LINGUIST List 31.2537

Tue Aug 11 2020

Calls: Applied Ling, Disc Analys, Pragmatics, Socioling/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 10-Aug-2020
From: Nicolas Ruytenbeek <>
Subject: The expression of customer dissatisfaction online
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Full Title: The expression of customer dissatisfaction online

Date: 27-Jun-2021 - 02-Jul-2021
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Contact Person: Nicolas Ruytenbeek
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 25-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

In the current era of digitalization, customers are able to express their dissatisfaction in the form of complaints and negative reviews on a variety of online social media platforms, and they increasingly make use of this possibility. Such forms of negative online word-of-mouth have been found to strongly influence other consumers’ purchase decisions (Ludwig et al. 2013; Yin et al. 2014; Vermeulen & Seegers 2009). Online complaints and negative reviews have been approached from the perspective of discourse pragmatics and conversation analysis, with attention to their linguistic realizations and their interactional dynamics (e.g., Vásquez, 2011; Dayter and Rüdiger, 2014). In addition, online complaints have recently been experimentally investigated by Ruytenbeek et al. (to appear). The aim of this panel is to further expand our knowledge on the discourse-pragmatic strategies used by dissatisfied customers online and on how these different strategies influence the readers’ perceptions.

Call for Papers:

We welcome abstracts on the following questions (the list is not exhaustive):
- What are the discourse-pragmatic strategies that customers use to voice their dissatisfaction online? What paralinguistic features do they resort to?
- How does the expression of customer dissatisfaction differ across different online public platforms?
- What are the differences between customer dissatisfaction in F2F vs. online written communication?
- How do other customers respond to customer dissatisfaction?
- How do other customers emotionally react to the expression of customer dissatisfaction? Do their objective emotional reactions correlate with their subjective assessments?
- What is the influence of discourse genre, e.g., complaint, claim, negative review, on the expression and the perception of customer dissatisfaction?
- Which theoretical approaches are most useful to address customers’ negative evaluations online?
- Does customer dissatisfaction vary inter-individually and/or cross-culturally? If so, in what respect?
- How can interdisciplinary approaches shed light on the pragmatics of customers’ negative evaluations online?

Abstract format:
Submissions should take the form of a brief abstract (min. 250 and max. 500 words). They should be made online on the IPrA website (, be written in English, include a clear title, and contain information about the research questions, hypotheses, methods, and results. Ongoing research can also be submitted, provided the results will be available at the time of the conference. The deadline for submissions is 25 October 2020.

Dayter, D. and S. Rüdiger, 2014. “Speak your mind but watch your mouth. Complaints in couchsurfing references.” In Bedijs, Kristina, Gudrun Held, Christiane Maass (Eds.), Face work and social media. Zürich/Berlin, 193-212.
Ludwig, S., de Ruyter, K., Friedman, M., Brüggen, E.C., Wetzels, M. & Pfann, G. 2013. “More than words: the influence of affective content and linguistic style matches in online reviews on conversion rates”. Journal of Marketing 77 (1): 87-103.
Ruytenbeek, N., S. Decock, & I. Depraetere. (to appear). “What makes a complaint impolite? Experiments into (in)directness and face-threat in Twitter complaints.” Journal of Politeness Research.
Vásquez, C. 2011. “Complaints online: the case of TripAdvisor.” Journal of Pragmatics 43 : 1707-1717.
Vermeulen, I., & Seegers, D. 2009. “Tried and tested: The impact of online hotel reviews on consumer consideration.” Tourism Management 30 (1): 123-127.
Yin, D., Bond, S. & Zhang, H. 2014. “Anxious or angry? Effects of discrete emotions on the perceived helpfulness of online reviews”. MIS Quarterly 38 (2): 539-560.

Page Updated: 11-Aug-2020