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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.30 No.4 pp.59-98

Formulating ‘Tag Questions’ in Korean Conversation

Kyu-hyun Kim
Professor, Dept. of Applied English Linguistics & Translation Studies, Kyung Hee University


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.




  1. Journal Abbreviation : j. Korea Saf. Manag. Sci.
    Frequency : Published three times annually in April, August and December, including an international issue
    Doi Prefix : 10.14353/sjk.
    Year of Launching : 2013
    Publisher :
    The Sociolinguistic Society of Korea
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