Σηφιανού Μαρία, Ομότιμη Καθηγήτρια, τμήμα Αγγλικής Γλώσσας και Φιλολογίας, ΕΚΠΑ
Τζάννε Αγγελική, Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια, τμήμα Αγγλικής Γλώσσας και Φιλολογίας, ΕΚΠΑ
Μητσικοπούλου Βασιλική, Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια, τμήμα Αγγλικής Γλώσσας και Φιλολογίας, ΕΚΠΑ
Online dating has exploded in popularity in recent years, with a proliferation of dating sites and applications offering an alternative to traditional dating practices. One of the most successful dating applications nowadays is Tinder, a geolocation-based application used to find and interact with prospective romantic partners. Given the prevalence of online dating and Tinder dating, in particular, this study sets out to explore language use while chatting and flirting on Tinder, examining interaction through the linguistic framework of relational work (e.g., Locher 2004, 2006, Locher & Watts 2005, Watts 1989, 2003). Informed by this framework, 198 Tinder naturally-occurring interactions were qualitatively analysed so that relational behaviours pertinent to flirting on Tinder can be pinpointed and better understood. The results of this analysis suggest, among others, that flirting on Tinder can mostly be related to cooperative relationship-management strategies emerging in small talk and self-presentation. These include the exchange of compliments, the display of alignment and concern for the other, and playfulness. Interestingly, non-cooperative behaviours relevant to conflict and rejection are also found in this context. Furthermore, the analysis shows that, although many behaviours seem to have a politeness potential, relational displays and their evaluations can also be politic, impolite, playful etc., thus covering a wide range of behaviours in the relational work spectrum. Since research on the linguistic aspect of online dating has been very limited so far, this study constitutes a first attempt to approach the pragmatics of flirting on Tinder. Therefore, more research is needed in order to be able to make safer claims as to linguistic behaviour in this context.
relational work, flirting, Tinder, pragmatics of flirting, online dating, linguistic politeness