S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 43 Number 1/2 (2007)
On the Categorial Ambiguity of the Morpheme kes in Korean
- Choe, Hyon Sook
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.43 No.2, pp. 229-264
- functional category; kes; deictic pronouns; deictic demonstratives; deictic locatives; "dependent" or "defective" noun; EP; DP; the EP hypothesis
- In this paper, I discuss the ambiguous categorial status of the motpheme kes in Korean. The morpheme kes has been assumed to be a "dependent" or "defective" noun, because it cannot appear alone and its meaning is largely determined by discourse and/or syntactic contexts. Based on empirical data, I show that it may come either with a modifier or with a non-modifier, but exhibits different properties, depending on which it comes with: When it comes with a modifier, it has properties of a lexical N, but when it comes with a non-modifier, it does not have properties of a lexical category, but those of a functional category. As for the categorial status of the motpheme kes as a functional category, under the EP hypothesis in H S Choe (2006, 2007b), which suggests that a full realization of a nominal expression is a functional category projection above DP (called EP), I suggest that the morpheme kes is a realization of E, when it comes with a non-modifier. Under the present approach, I also attempt to characterize the nature of the syntactic and semantic dependency or defectiveness that the morpheme kes exlnbits, and to explain some descriptive facts related to noun phrases in Korean.