Children's interpretation of the Korean reflexive pronouns caki and caki-casin

Joo, Kum Jeong
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2014]
This dissertation explores the native Korean children's ability to distinguish between the two Korean reflexives, caki and caki-casin. In both intra-sentential binding and extra-sentential discourse binding, long distance binding can be possible for caki but not for caki-casin; and lexical-semantic information of verbs affects the interpretation of caki but not of caki-casin. To assess knowledge of caki and caki-casin, four Truth-Value Judgment experiments were conducted with native Korean-speaking children (and adult controls). Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 examined whether Korean-speaking children's antecedent choices differ according to the reflexive types, in intra-sentential binding (Experiment 1) and extra-sentential discourse binding (Experiment 2). The results show the tendency that children allowed long-distance and local interpretation for caki, while they allowed local interpretation only for caki-casin, which is adult-like. This suggests that Korean-speaking children know the antecedent domains for the two reflexives. Experiment 3 and Experiment 4 investigated whether semantic properties of the clause-mate verb play a role in the interpretation of caki but not of caki-casin, in intra-sentential binding (Experiment 3) and extra-sentential discourse binding (Experiment 4). The results reveal that the native Korean-speaking children did not show sensitivity to the semantic properties of the clause-mate verb in interpreting reflexive caki, which was unlike the adult controls. For caki-casin, however, the children allowed a local antecedent only, which was adult-like. The four experiments show that Korean-speaking children at ages 4--6 come to know the antecedent domains for the two reflexives, but that the children are not fully developed in integrating semantic properties of the clause-mate verb into the interpretation of caki.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Korean, reflexive pronouns
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