Like and dislike scales in couples’ argumentative interaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates regrading (Bilmes, 2019) as an argumentative resource in a Korean reality television show, Transit Love 2. The main concept of Transit Love 2 is that couples who have broken up join the dating show to either reunite with their ex-partners or to meet someone new. Focusing on argumentations about date invitations and relationship issues, this study shows how the participants launch like/dislike scales to justify why one should accept a requested date, restore a former relationship, and avoid sending an ex-partner to a new date. In the analysis, we illustrate the participants' ways of hearably going up and down on a scale and demonstrate how these scalar formulations shape the activities of managing accusatory, argumentative, and appeal-making talk. The findings of this study highlight that scalar regrades of like/dislike emotions are essential to the interactional activity of couples and have immediate consequences on their relational trajectories. This study contributes to a better understanding of how regrading is used in couple's argumentative discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-175
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Argumentative interaction
  • Korean
  • Reality TV show
  • Regrading
  • Scaling


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