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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 35, Issue 6


Reconstructing misinterpretation and misrepresentation through represented talk in Korean conversation

Mary Shin Kim
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1890 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
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Published Online: 2015-11-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2015-0021


Drawing from a corpus of telephone and face-to-face Korean conversational data, this study investigates cases of represented talk (RT) that routinely occur in second position as a response to a prior turn that the speaker finds problematic and in need of repair. The speaker finds problems in the way the recipient interprets or represents certain events, situations, or the interlocutors themselves, and the speaker seeks to rectify these (mis)conceptions and (mis)representations through RT. The speaker reports a former locution, which demonstrates the recipient’s understanding to be incorrect or insufficient. At such delicate interactional junctures, the speaker begins a quote as direct reported speech (DRS) and closes the same quote as indirect reported speech (IRS). The unique design of combining DRS and IRS allows Korean speakers to negotiate what to show (DRS) and what to tell (IRS) according to the importance and relevance of the current interaction and current recipients. The study further discusses why this particular design of RT is readily observed in Korean conversation and how it fits within its interactional task of reconstructing matters according to the speaker’s perspective.

Keywords: direct reported speech; free indirect speech; indirect quotative construction; misinterpretation; misrepresentation; Korean


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About the article

Mary Shin Kim

Mary Shin Kim received her PhD in Korean Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is currently associate professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her research includes analysis of discourse and conversation, in particular, evidentiality, epistemic stance, and reported speech from an interactional linguistics perspective. She has published her research in Discourse Processes, Discourse Studies, Journal of Pragmatics, and Research on Language and Social Interaction.

Published Online: 2015-11-28

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 35, Issue 6, Pages 759–787, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2015-0021.

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