Display of Listenership in Korean Conversation
This dissertation investigates the display of listenership in Korean conversation that is achieved through manipulation of reactive responses. Particularly, it focuses listener’s affective and epistemic stance towards the prior turn in the course of telling. The stance display is illustrated by analyzing the prosodic and multimodal features of reactive responses. The analysis is conducted on the two major types of Korean reactive responses; yes/nod type and oh/really type. The findings indicate that through yes/nod type responses, listeners display their interest towards the prior turn and show different levels of engagingness by managing the token type and the number of repeats. In terms of epistemic stance, listeners express that they are better informed than before while they are still on a path between K– and K+. Listeners manage the degree of informedness and readiness to obtain further information through the lexical choice, the number of repeats, and the co-occurring nods. With oh/really type responses, listeners not only display their interest elicited by the process of realization but also express surprise by carefully designing prosody and facial expressions. Epistemically, they position themselves from K- to K+ with micro-management of pitch configuration. Through the close examination on reactive responses, this dissertation illustrates how listeners play their role by actively engaging in conversation.