S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 47 Number 1/2 (2011)
The Prosody of the Alleged Korean Topic Marker -nun
- Kim, Jieun
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.47 No.1, pp. 71-99
- Korean particle -nun; contrastive topic; prosodic experiment; syntactic position of a topic
- In this paper, I experimentally examine the prosodic properties of items with the particle -nun, which are so-called topic expressions in Korean. I conducted a series of three judgment and production experiments. Through these experiments, I determined whether the following two widely accep-ted assumptions can be held at the same time: (i) the assumption that treats any -nun marked constituents as a sub-category of the topic comprising a component of information structure; and (ii) the assumption that, in Korean, the existence of -nun combined with a prosodic accent is sufficient to make a felicitous utterance in any type of contrastive topic-inducing context. In the course of experimentation I investigated the realization of -nun both in its prosodic form and in its linear placement within a sentence. The results suggest that -nun should be separated from the sole function of marking an information structure component Topic.The conclusion of these experiments urges us to reconsider the well-studied particle -nun.