Self-addressed questions and indexicality — The case of Korean

  • Regine Eckardt
  • Gisela Disselkamp


Korean questions are marked as true questions (with final particle ni) or self addressed questions (SAQ, henceforth) (with final na/ka). SAQ are characterized as “uttered in the absence of addressee” in the literature. We argue in favour of a more detailed pragmatic profile, as SAQ can be uttered in the presence of other persons and can contain second person pronouns ‘you’ that refer to  these. SAQ in  Korean are however incompatible with the performative honorific upni (Jang and Kim, 1998). We propose that Korean refers to contexts with bystanders in addition to speaker and addressee. SAQ require that sp(c)=ad(c), and prohibit upni because the speaker cannot honorify herself. Second person ‘you’ refers to the most salient bystander, which can differ from ad(c) in SAQ. The account extends to theme-setting questions and other data.
How to Cite
Eckardt, R., & Disselkamp, G. (2019). Self-addressed questions and indexicality — The case of Korean. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 383-398.