In the present study the use of thanking formulae is examined across different genres and varieties of English. Data is taken from the British National Corpus and the Wellington Corpus of Spoken New Zealand English.
Employing a form-to-function mapping, thanking formulae are not only analysed quantitatively, but also qualitatively accounting for local contexts and genre. Additionally, the status of thanking formulae is examined in the most prominent models of politeness, and the interpersonal relation amongst the interlocutors is investigated. The first part is devoted to a variational analysis, which is supplemented by a genre perspective in the second part. The findings of the study contribute new insights to research on thanking (formulae), politeness, variational pragmatics and media discourse.