Enhancing solidarity through dispreferred format

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


  • Kyu-hyun Kim Kyung Hee University




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


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 PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research interests are in sequential and membership categorization analysis of interactional and grammatical practices in Korean and English.


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How to Cite

Kim, K.- hyun. (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