S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 27 Number 1/4 (1991)
Multiple Subject Constructions in Korean Reconsidered
- Shin, Soo-Song
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.27 No.4, pp. 725-760
- The 'multiple subject constructions' (=MSCs) in Korean and Japanese display peculiar language specific phenomena which can not be easily explained, either syntactically or semantically. These phenomena are syntactically interesting in that all NPs in MSCs have a unique syntactic case, namely nominative case. From the semantic point of view, it is also interesting to note that there are various semantic and pragmatic relationships between the NPs in MSCs. Until now we have seen no plausible explanation as to why there are MSCs in Korean and Japanese and why they are necessary. I propose in this paper that MSCs are derived due to the incompleteness of the meaning of the subject. If the subject is semantically incomplete, it requires another NP for semantic saturation. This process continues until no NP can be added upon past a certain point; at this stage the MSC has become semantically complete. I assume further that the nominative case of the NPs in MSCs is due to the case assignment of the AGR of INFL category in the underlying structure. This conflicts with the assumption of quite a few GB-grammarians, who treat the MSCs as a result of scrambling phenomena of NPs, i.e. via cyclic NP movement from the attribute position of the subject NP into the IP-adjunction position. Detailed descriptions of syntactic derivation and semantic interpretation of MSCs are given in this paper.