PhD mid-term review: Interactional use of Korean -nikka/-nuntay and Japanese -tte in spoken discourse

This is a mid-term report of my PhD study, which aims to explore the interactional functions of quotation markers, the Korean -nikka/-nuntay and Japanese -tte, in spoken discourse. In a number of studies, the main focus has been placed on semantic and syntactic features of Korean -nikka and -nuntay (Ahn, 2006; Bang, 1995; Nam, 2010) along with infrequent interactional approaches to these markers (Kim and Suh, 1994; Shon and Park, 2004), while the use of Japanese -tte has been investigated more broadly by many researchers (Kato, 2010; Maynard, 1996; Suzuki, 1997).

For a theoretical framework, the notion of 'involvement' (Chafe, 1982, 1985; Tannen, 1985, 1989; Lee, 2007) and 'multivoicedness' have been used to identify the 'metalinguistic' natures of the target markers (Bakhtin, 1986; Maynard, 1996). To obtain rich contexts, the current study has adopted various data sets for its analysis, which include TV drama scripts, comic books and telephone conversations.

The present study has found that these markers display metalinguistic aspects 'beyond a sentence' in two-way communication, by indicating the speaker's involvement of the hearer and 'manipulating a variety of expressiveness' (Maynard, 1996). Further, the current study has revealed that, while these markers share similarities that they are indirect quotation markers and frequently used in casual conversation, each marker indicates different functions from the other: In brief, -nikka is used as a volitionary device to express self-assertiveness, whereas -nuntay as an evidentiality device to regulate reliability and validity. On the other hand, -tte is used as a proximity device to control metaphorical distances between speakers and topics, topics and hearers, and/or speakers and hearers in discourse space or time.

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