S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 46 Number 1/2 (2010)
Subject Honorification in Korean: In Defense of Agr and Head-Spec Agreement
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.46 No.1, pp. 59-82
- In this paper, I claim that a traditional insight that Korean subject honorification involves syntactic agreement is basically correct, contrary to Kim and Sells (2007), although I follow their position that previous accounts which are based on an [Hon] feature on a noun cannot be maintained due to numerous counterexamples. In order to capture the insight and explain the counterexamples, I propose that what is involved is agreement in terms of a [Speaker Honorification] feature under a Spec-head configuration and its interactions with some non-linguistic conventions concerning honorification. I further propose that the agreement host is not in Spec, but in head, since the feature is interpretable on -si/ø, while it is uninterpretable on a noun. This leads me to propose that -si/ø forms Agr in Korean and head-Spec agreement is involved in Korean subject honorification.