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SYNTAX OF SOME NOMINAL CONSTRUCTIONS IN KOREAN

Sun Woo Lee

Ph.D. Dissertation, 1983

Abstract

This study explores syntactic aspects of three types of Korean nominal constructions: embedded sentences having the three complementizers, and functioning as subjects or objects of their matrix sentences; noun phrases which contain substantive nominals; and relative nominal constructions which comprise relative clauses followed by their head nouns. Many of the theories set forth in Chomsky (1981) have been tested in their application to Korean. The dissertation provides an analysis of a fragment of the grammar of Korean and explores what the Korean data may contribute towards a theory of universal grammar. Chapter 1 gives a summary of the chapters. Chapter 2 presents that Korean word order is considerably less free than that of so-called 'W-star' languages. Scrambling operates within one bounding node. Korean pro-drop is investigated, too. I suggest that non-configurational languages like Korean can be fully described using a maximal projection of one X-bar level. In Chapter 3, nominal constructions using the complementizers, kus, (u)m, and ki are investigated. Korean complementizers (Comp) and their English counterparts (COMP) are shown to be very different in that COMP in English admits the movement of WH-phrases, while Comp in Korean has no empty category in itself. Thus there is no (')A-binder in Korean. The binding relations between antecedents in the matrix and anaphors/pronominals in the embedded sentence are discussed. Korean anaphors need not to be bound in their governing categories. In Chapter 4, the relation between substantive nominals and their corresponding verb forms is examined. In the noun phrases which contain substantive nominals, scrambling operates to produce a variation in the surface forms. In this case, however, scrambling moves major constituents such as NP and PP. Several proposals of the derivation of relative nominals are examined in Chapter 5; I propose a zero resumptive pronoun hypothesis. Ordinary pronouns and resumptive pronouns are discussed. The choice between zero resumptive pronouns and overt resumptive pronouns in the relative clause does not result in any difference in meaning.


 
 
Department of Linguistics University of Wisconsin-Madison

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