Enhancing solidarity through dispreferred format

The nuntey-clause in Korean conversation as a normative basis for leveraging action


  • Kyu-Hyun Kim Kyung Hee University




nintey-clause, my-side-revealing, espace trajectory, normative, solitarity, Korean


The Korean clausal-connective nuntey, a particle indicating ‘background’, is analysed in terms of the ‘my-side-revealing’ practice that projects ‘escape trajectories’ in which an incipiently formulated action is foreshown to be retractable. For instance, in response to an offer, incipient non-compliance, marked by nuntey, may be leveraged into acceptance; here, the speaker emerges as a ‘markedly self-sufficient’ beneficiary who ostensibly orients to minimising the cost of burden on the part of the offer-maker. The offer-maker, on his/her part, emerges as a ‘markedly other-attentive’ benefactor through deferentially overriding the recipient’s nuntey-marked account adumbrating a dispreferred response. Across different contexts, the nuntey-marked response, with its expansion-relevant character, embodies the speaker’s normative orientation, furnishing the opportunity for the participants to manage face, morality, and solidary relationships. Cross-linguistic implications are noted with reference to the self-indulgent practice of ‘distancing’, with the hearer being mobilised as a co-member to accountably co-leverage the current action with upgraded affiliation.

Author Biography

Kyu-Hyun Kim, Kyung Hee University

Kyu-hyun Kim is Professor of English at Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. He received a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has conducted conversation-analytic research on various aspects of the English and Korean grammar and interaction.


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How to Cite

Kim, K.-H. (2018). Enhancing solidarity through dispreferred format: The nuntey-clause in Korean conversation as a normative basis for leveraging action. East Asian Pragmatics, 3(1), 27–57. https://doi.org/10.1558/eap.34742