본문 바로가기
  • Home

Discourse Markers Mwe and Way in Korean Conversation

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2007, 15(1), pp.77-105
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Kyung-Hee Suh 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

From the perspective of conversation analysis, this study aims to explore the interactional aspects of the Korean wh-words mwe and way with reference to their functions as discourse markers. The examination of conversation data reveals that the discourse markers mwe and way can be used as conversation fillers, filling in a necessary interactional space when the speaker encounters trouble in producing the next item due; way is found to more actively solicit the hearer's involvement or uptake than mwe. The discourse markers mwe and way are also found to be employed as a hedging device and a boosting device respectively often in disaffiliative actions. Mwe helps to mitigate the import of the statement by virtue of its sense of underestimation or downtoning while way helps to increase the force of an utterance while introducing a negative tone. The various interactional functions of mwe and way are claimed to be derived from their distinctive referential meanings; mwe as signifying that ‘something is uncertain to the speaker’, and way as signifying that 'something is questionable, problematic, unexpected, and extraordinary to the speaker'.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.