S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 42 Number 1/2 (2006)
Semantic Constraints on the Genitive Complements of Verbal Nouns in Korean*
- Jun, Jong Sup
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.42 No.2, pp. 357-397
- case; genitive,; verbal noun; light verb construction; animacy; specificity; differential object marking; exceptional case marking
- The adnominal genitive is generally considered to be a purely syntactic case. Genitive complements of verbal nouns in the Korean light verb construction (=LVC), however, show that syntax alone cannot explain the entire distribution of genitive. In this paper, I argue that combined factors of animacy and specificity constrain the genitive assignment of LVC; i.e., inanimate arguments with specific semantic content allow genitive-marking more readily than animate non-specific arguments. The alternation between accusative and genitive on the complement NP correlates with case ellipsis of the object NP in Korean. Differential Object Marking between OBJ-Acc and OBJ-ø is also constrained by such factors as animacy and definiteness/specificity (Aissen 2003, H Lee 2005). The commonality between the genitive complement of LVC and OBJ-ø is that they are typical objects, and hence are not confusable with the subject arguments. The overall discussion leads to interesting consequences for the event-type structure and the view of UG.