MULTIFUNCTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE KOREAN PRAGMATIC MARKER CEKI
Abstract. This paper examines the contemporary functions of the Korean pragmatic marker CEKI by examining data gathered from naturally occurring phone conversations and three contemporary television dramas. The marker CEKI is frequently used in contemporary Korean across boundaries of gender, education, age, region, etc. However, the standard treatment of the marker in dictionaries does not capture the multifunctional characteristics that CEKI evinces in the creation and construction of coherent text and in the indexing of the speaker's interpersonal and affective stances during social interaction. CEKI signals topic change and marks discourse transition. By linking independent propositions, states, and events, CEKI brings about sequential coordination and intra-textual coherence. This marker also functions for the structuring of text while allowing the speaker to hold the floor by affording the speaker time during the process of information retrieval. In addition, CEKI functions as an attention-getter and is an ideal candidate for initiating discourse, especially with the unknown. In the speech contexts of making excuse, apology, disagreement, and request, the pragmatic marker CEKI indexes the speaker's interpersonal and affective/empathetic stances vis--vis interlocutors in relation to the upcoming utterance.
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