Enacting surprise with ani ‘no’-prefaced questions


  • Stephanie Hyeri Kim California State University Northridge




turn-initial particle, question, ani, surprise, turn-initial particle, question, ani, surprise, Korean, conversation


This study focuses on the use of the particle ani ‘no’ as a preface to questions in Korean conversation. Using ordinary telephone conversations as data, the study examines the practice of ani prefacing in a previously unexplored position: questions that begin with ani. The cases show that ani-prefaced questions display the speaker’s surprise at some content of the recipient’s prior talk and sometimes even serve to challenge the truthfulness of the surprise source. In this context, the ani preface serves as an alert that these actions should be understood as a departure from the ongoing course of action and as a distinct issue to be addressed. The article also discusses ani’s uses in turn-initial position in relation to its use in other positions.

Author Biography

Stephanie Hyeri Kim, California State University Northridge

Stephanie Hyeri Kim is Assistant Professor of Linguistics/TESL at California State University, Northridge. Her primary research interests concern the intersection of language, social interaction, and language learning and teaching. She has published on turn initial and final particles and other-initiated repair in English and Korean in the contexts of everyday life and institutional settings. Her work has appeared in Discourse ProcessesJournal of PragmaticsResearch on Language and Social Interaction, and Text and Talk, among others.


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How to Cite

Kim, S. H. (2017). Enacting surprise with ani ‘no’-prefaced questions. East Asian Pragmatics, 2(2), 141–162. https://doi.org/10.1558/eap.34617