|Author(s)||Eun Young Bae|
|Title||Affirmative Response Design to Polar Questions in Korean Political Campaign Debates|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Political communication, Responding, Debates|
|Journal||The Korean Language in America|
This study investigates the different interactional uses of yey ‘yes’ type responses (YTRs) and kulehsupnita ‘be so’ type responses (KTRs) as affirmative responses to polar questions in political campaign debates. Using conversation analysis (CA) to examine YTRs and KTRs occurring in the cross-examination phase of six nationally televised 2012 primary debates (totaling 624 minutes) in South Korea, this study shows how candidates use YTRs and KTRs in different sequential contexts to save or bolster their positive political image. Candidates tended to deploy YTRs as weak affirmation tokens when faced with factual, adversarial propositions of polar questions potentially damaging to their political image, whereas KTRs were used as strong affirmation tokens to display their commitment to propositions of polar questions innocuous or even favorable to their political image. This study uses the concepts of markedness and type-conformity to explain the different interactional functions performed by YTRs and KTRs to achieve specific communicative goals. The findings contribute to cross-linguistic investigation of affirmative response design, and hold pedagogical value for teaching affirmative responses in Korean language classroom settings.