Get access
Advertisement

Culture and Interdiscursivity in Korean Fricative Voice Gestures

Authors

  • Nicholas Harkness

    Corresponding author
    1. HARVARD UNIVERSITY
      Department of Anthropology
      Harvard University
      William James Hall
      33 Kirkland Street
      Cambridge, MA 02138
      harkness@fas.harvard.edu
    Search for more papers by this author

Department of Anthropology
Harvard University
William James Hall
33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
harkness@fas.harvard.edu

Abstract

This paper explores the cultural significance of a type of audible gesture in Korean speech that I call the Fricative Voice Gesture (FVG). I distinguish between two forms of this gesture: the reactive FVG, which serves as a self-standing utterance that signals personally felt intensity, and the prosodic FVG, which can be superimposed upon an utterance as a form of intensification. Based on an ethnographically informed analysis of interviews, Christian sermons, and advertisements for soju, a Korean spirit, in South Korea, I view the interdiscursive link between reactive and prosodic FVGs in terms of the ongoing cultural revalorization of the sound shape. I focus in particular on the shift from harsher to softer FVGs—and their omission altogether—according to different, but related, paradigms of social differentiation such as class, gender, and age. [voice, gesture, prosody, intensification, korean, South Korea]

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary