"But Then Again, Too Few to Mention": Negotiating Regret in Israeli and American News Interviews

Michal Hamo*, Zohar Kampf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study adopts a contrastive pragmatic approach to examine the meanings and functions of public regret in two linguacultures. We located questions of regret realized by news interviewers in Israel and the United States between the years 2010 and 2020 using keyword searches in databases of diverse radio and television broadcast news media. Contrastive analysis of realizations and uptakes of questions of regret reveals similar discursive, functional and thematic patterns across the two cultures: questions of regret are predominantly used to demand accountability or to elicit emotion and narrative evaluation, and are discursively constructed as either challenging or supportive. We also found a delicate cross-cultural difference, with interviewees' tendency to avoid regret greater in the U.S. In the Discussion we suggest possible explanations for the overall resemblance of discursive patterns in news interviews in Israel and the U.S., and their theoretical and methodological implications for contrastive pragmatics in institutional settings.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalContrastive Pragmatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Copyright 2023 by Michal Hamo and Zohar Kampf.


  • broadcast talk
  • media discourse
  • news interviews
  • public speech acts
  • regret


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