Kim, Kyu-hyun. (2023). “Question Tags in Korean Conversation: Displaying and Soliciting Empathy for Managing Delicate Action”. The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea, 31(4), 149-173. From the perspective of conversation analysis, this study analyzes utterances formatted with a question tag constructed as the tag-type clause kuci, “Isn’t it?.” Based on an examination of naturally occurring talk-in-interaction, it is argued that question tags, though generally intended to be a recipiency-mobilizing resource, serve primarily as a resource for empathy display and are geared toward retroactively managing the various “delicate” actions that their host utterance implements. Formulated as post-predicate elements, their use indicates the speaker’s trust that the recipient will provide an affiliative response by sharing the empathic stance exhibited in their host utterance. The kuci-speaker’s orientation toward soliciting the recipient’s affiliative uptake is frequently reciprocated by the recipient, who registers the “delicate character” of the kuci-marked utterance’s action by producing variously “nuanced” responses, for example, in a way that is empathically other-attentive, obliquely affiliative, or mildly resistant.
From a conversation-analytic perspective, this paper analyzes the “committal” suffixes ci and cianha used as “pseudo-tags” in Korean conversation, which render the utterance they mark a request for confirmation (RfC) formatted in the form of a polar declarative question. The focus is given to examining differences ci and cianha as constitutive of mutually related but distinct forms of RfC, particularly in terms of the ways in which the confirmable is formulated and intersubjective understanding is solicited and negotiated. It is proposed that the RfC formatted with the pseudo-tag ci indexes the speaker’s orientation towards having the recipient help him/her “raise commitment” to the factually ascertainable character of shared information. Its use organizes recipiency in such a way that the recipient’s confirmation is solicited collusively. The RfC formatted with cianha, by contrast, furnishes the speaker with a discursive resource for engaging the recipient in a negotiatory process, prodding him/her to raise his/her “momentarily latent” commitment. With the confirmable grounded in general/shared knowledge, the use of cianha has the import of organizing a range of “attendant activities”, such as appeasing, whining, rebuking, etc.
Kim, Kyu-hyun & Suh, Kyung-Hee. 2018. “Formulation Sequence in Korean TV Talk Shows: Pre-Sequence as Consensual Grounds for Managing Category Work”. The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea 26(2). 85~117. From the perspectives of conversation analysis (CA) and membership categorization analysis (MCA), this paper analyzes the formulation sequence in Korean television news interviews and celebrity talk-shows. The analysis shows that the host's formulation is normatively oriented to by the guest as a preliminary action, which projects a range of face-impinging actions, such as challenge, assessment, request, etc. The formulation-confirmation sequence furnishes the host with consensual grounds for embarking on affectively-loaded assessment activities vis-à-vis the guest in his/her own terms. The guest, as the formulation-recipient, may block the host's projected action by using disconfirmation, which points to the contingent nature of the power that the host exercises as the agent of morality. The analysis of the formulation sequence is brought to bear upon the examination of the compositional features of the formulation turn (e.g., sentence-ending suffixes, discourse particle, etc.) and their interactional imports.
Kim, Kyu-hyun. 2016. “The Topic Marker -Nun as an Interactional Resource: Domain Shifting as Stance-Managing Practice”. The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea 24(3). 65~94. From the conversation-analytic perspective, this paper examines the interactional meaning of -nun with reference to its constitutive role of organizing assessment activities in naturally occurring conversations. -Nun is analyzed as a grammatical resource deployed for ‘shifting’ the domain whose relevancies are transiently invoked as a new assessable being brought up, or as delimiting the scope of valency to be accorded the assessable. The domain-shifting makes relevant a new set of stance-taking possibilities, which is done in an ‘other-attentive’ way; the shift is made either towards minimizing stance difference and promoting rapport among the participants in the context of disagreement, or towards further elaborating stance alignment what agreement is already in place. The ‘other-attentive’ orientation that the nun-speaker displays in managing his/her stance vis-à-vis the other’s is countervailed by his/her epistemic claim about the invoked domain, whose valency is additionally modulated by sentence-ending suffixes (SESs). The domain-shifting practice, mediated by -nun, draws upon membership categorization work as its organizational basis. Tied to the categories or category-bound features invoked in the prior context, different aspects or types of the assessable, marked by -nun, are transiently brought up as part of a contrastive device. This practice furnishes the speaker with a resource for formulating his/her action as an ‘affiliative’ (though not necessarily ‘aligning’) move geared towards managing stance and face as a collaborative interactional business.
From a conversation-analytic perspective, this paper reports on the analysis of incey used as a discourse marker in spontaneous Korean conversations. Systematic attention is given to how it is used as an interactional resource for recalibrating a prior description and engaging the hearer to take the conjoined perspective grounded on the point of "here and now." It is shown that the sequences in which incey is embedded are characterized by a vivid description of an event/state of affairs or reported speech produced in the manner of having the target event/state of affairs reenacted. Such a formulation, often signaling a shift toward an expressive mode of telling, provides a context where the hearer is invited to be involved in the detailed description of the event/state of affairs (i.e., from the shared perspective) and to appreciate its upshot by co-taking the speaker’s vintage point. Such a shift is often observed in terms of managing the boundary-marking as well, e.g., usually practiced in the form of marking contrast or mediating self-repair through which a prior turn component is progressively replaced by another. Some of the crucial implications of these practices are noted in terms of (i) the preliminary nature of incey-prefaced talk, i.e., the tendency of incey to preface materials which are still prefatory to what is to be told further later, and (ii) the ordinary nature of incey-prefaced talk which the co-participants tend to orient to as being empirically grounded and/or commonsensically accessible.
This paper analyzes the difference between nun and ka from an interactional perspective in terms of the practice of giving distinct types of 'focus' to the referent they mark. From a conversation-analytic perspective, Kim's (1990) analysis that nun and ka index the speaker-relevant focus and the event-relevant focus respectively is further elaborated on, with systematic attention being paid to 'sequential,' rather than 'cognitive,' aspects of how the referent is highlighted in the context of dealing with the prior talk and projecting sequential trajectories that favor distinct types of uptake. Nun is shown to be embedded in the context where the speaker orients himself/herself to problematizing and counteracting the interlocutor's action in the prior context, with the consequence that the interlocutor is solicited to make a decision and take a position vis-a-vis the speaker's action, preferably in the direction of aligning with it. The upshot of the focus-giving practice involving nun is characterized as a process by which the speaker's display of subjective and evaluative stance indexed by nun is empirically grounded by facts putatively observed by the speaker. The use of ka, in contrast, does not necessitate such a process of modulating the speaker's subjectivity. The focus-giving practice involving ka is geared towards highlighting the referent per se, with any agenda it projectively proposes being limited to the factual import that the referent has towards the event/state of affairs it relates to. That the interlocutor orients to the ka-marked referent in such a straightforward and non-motivated fashion is demonstrated by his/her often successful attempt at collaborative completion of the ka-utterance in-progress.
In Korean pedagogical discourse involving young learners, boundaries in pedagogical activities are signaled by the teacher’s style shift that utilizes a range of sentence-ending suffixes that index different degrees of formality and politeness. The shift from the use of the informal polite form -(e)yo to the use of the informal non-polite form -a/e in teacher's talk is contextually motivated by the need to address contingencies associated with a range of classroom management tasks of dealing with individual students, e.g., matters related to disciplining, advising, encouraging, etc. The shift to the formal style characterized by the formal polite forms -(su)pnita/-(su)pnikka takes place in the context where the teacher highlights his/her instructional focus, explicates subject-related knowledge, and/or marks a boundary in pedagogical activities. In young learners' talk in class, the formal style is used when they make a report or presentation related to group activities or produce a response whose upshot draws upon the textbook content, often in the context of reciprocating the formality indexed by the teacher's subject-related questions. Young learners' use of the formal style tends to be limited to a single-shot response, which constrains the extent to which they can sustain participation in subject-related classroom activities. The findings suggest that young learners could benefit from being allowed to use the informal style more freely in dealing with at least some 'formal' aspects of the way subject knowledge is organized in class.
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea 14(2). This paper analyzes a TV homeshopping commercial discourse produced in the form of a four-party conversation between the hosts and the guests. From a conversation-analytic perspective, several aspects of the turn-taking and sequence-organizational structure of the TV homeshopping talk are analyzed. Special reference is made to the ways its multi-unit turn is interactively constructed and the ways it is organized as a multi-party interaction based on the 'teams' of the hosts and the guests. The upshot of the 'trust-evoking' discourse of the TV homeshopping talk is characterized by a range of practices geared to highlighting the participants' mutually supportive actions, which are analyzed in terms of backchannel cues, repetition, overlapping, and collaborative completion. Despite the inherently pre-planned, 'performed' nature of the talk, it displays features of natural interaction as revealed by the way the participants collaboratively organize turns and sequences, and also by the way they orient to the asymmetrical aspects of talk.
Kim, Kyu-hyun. 2004. A Conversation Analysis of Korean Sentence-Ending Modal Suffixes -ney, -kwun(a), and -ta: Noticing as a Social Action. Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea, 12(1). Drawing upon H. S. Lee's (1993) cognitively-oriented research on the functions of three sentence-ending modal suffixes in Korean that are used to express newly perceived information, -ney, -kwun(a), and -ta, this study analyzes the distinct meanings of these suffixes from a conversation-analytic perspective (Sacks et al. 1974). The suffix -ney is used in the context in which the speaker notices a referent/event and makes an assessment on the spot in such a way that the speaker's stance displayed through the action is formulated as something that is to be immediately oriented to and contingently taken up by the hearer. In contrast, the suffix -kwun(a) is used when the speaker is mainly oriented to displaying a stance congruent with the prior talk. The action it organizes is often limited to acknowledging a point of the prior talk or having the hearer acknowledge the speaker's observation, often with a salient topic-curtailing and sequence-terminating import. The suffix -ta tends to orient the hearer to the next stage of the speaker's action (e.g., suggestion, warning, offer, etc.) to whose directive force the hearer is variably implicated as a beneficiary/facilitator. The interactional account offered in this paper is shown to complement Lee's cognitive account, with emphasis placed on examining the ways in which these suffixes are used as resources for organizing distinct types of social action.