Up and Down: On Some Concepts of Path in Korean Motion Verbs

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Wienold, Götz

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서울대학교 언어교육원
어학연구, Vol.28 No.1, pp. 15-43
Monomorphematic lexicalizations seem to provide the most restricted kind of evidence for typological constraints in lexicalization patterns. The article starts off by illustrating this point with lexicalization patterns for concepts of modality.
The remaining part of the article examines lexicalization patterns in motion verbs. Following Talmy's well-known typology, Korean is classified as a path language, that is as a language which incorporates the path or a motion in a monomorphematic verb (as opposed to manner languages like English and German of figure languages). 'Path' is defined as a set of conditions which the motion or a moving figure takes with respect to some ground. The meaning of a particular path verb is a specific set of such conditions. For semantic analysis along these lines, Korean verbs which express motion' along a path upwards or downwards are selected. The contribution of cases (-ŭl, -e, -ro, -esó) and of relational nouns (wi, arae, mit and so on) to the description of motion events are also considered. Semantic analysis shows a strong correspondence of the concepts lexicalized in Korean verbs for movement upwards and downwards. There is also a high degree of systematicity in the lexicalizations of intransitive and transitiveverbs and in the field of Korean path verbs in general.
Incidentally, verbs which express events of 'falling' are given some attention.
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 28 Number 1/4 (1992)
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