Two Forms of Affirmative Responses to Polar Questions

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In conversation analysis, questions are explicated in sequential terms. They constrain relevant types and forms of response in the next turn, and the specifics of response construction provide resources that inform how questions and their actions and constraints are understood. This article aims to contribute to our cross-linguistic understandings about question–response sequences by examining responses to polar questions in Korean conversation. It examines two forms of affirmative responses, “unexpanded” and “expanded.” In unexpanded responses that consist of an interjection “yes” alone, respondents do nothing more than a mere affirmation and treat the question as simply seeking (re-)confirmation about the matter that had been conveyed in prior talk. By contrast, in expanded responses that involve additional components after an interjection in the turn, respondents not only affirm the matter at its face value but also provide elaboration addressed to the inferred purpose or intention that may lie behind the question.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-46
Number of pages26
JournalDiscourse Processes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 2

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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