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Enacting surprise with ani ‘no’-prefaced questions

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2017) Special issue: Conversation analytic studies of language use in interaction

Journal: East Asian Pragmatics

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/eap.34617


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: Stephanie Hyeri Kim

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