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Temporal Phenomena in the Korean Conjunctive Constructions

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Item Summary

Title: Temporal Phenomena in the Korean Conjunctive Constructions
Authors: Kim, Dongmin
Keywords: conjunctive construction
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Issue Date: Aug 2015
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2015]
Abstract: The goal of this study is to characterize the temporal phenomena in the Korean conjunctive constructions. These constructions consist of three components: a verbal stem, a clause medial temporal suffix, and a clause terminal suffix. This study focuses on both the temporality of the terminal connective suffixes and the grammatical meanings of the non-terminal temporal suffix -ess in conjunctive constructions. The analysis presented here is based on corpus data of informal discourse. The study seeks to understand the interaction between the three components and the effect of context on the temporal/aspectual meaning of the conjunctive constructions.
Across languages, sentence structures can be typologically classified into two main types: “co-ranking” structures and “chaining” structures (Longacre, 2007, p. 374). When Indo-European languages combine clauses, the clauses may contain several verbs of the same rank, usually referred to as independent verbs. On the other hand, various verb-final languages such as Korean, Japanese, some languages of Papua New Guinea, and some Philippine languages, in which subject, object, adverbial, and other elements are followed by the predicate, do not connect two verbs of same rank in a sentence, but “chain” a preceding clause to a following clause. The predicate of the final clause generally carries the grammatical information for the whole sentence; that is, the clausechaining languages make a distinction between non-final (medial) verbs and final verbs in terms of how they are inflected. Often, the final verb is fully marked for participant, temporality, modality, and sentence type, while the inflection of the medial verb may be morphologically deficient in part.
In the Korean conjunctive constructions, the non-final clauses cannot take sentence terminal suffixes that determine illocutionary force. That is, they cannot be used to mark an utterance as one of the four sentence types—declarative, interrogative, propositive, and imperative—or as one of the six speech levels—plain, intimate, familiar, blunt, polite, and deferential (H.-M. Sohn, 1999, pp. 234–236). In addition, the non-final clauses of conjunctive sentences are deficient or dependent in tense/aspect marking, which may be related to the grammatical behavior of the connectives in general.
The specific focus of this study is the optional suffixation of tense/aspect marker, and how it is affected by the temporality of clause terminal connective suffixes. The tense/aspect suffix looks irregular in distribution, while other suffixes including the subject/addressee honorific suffixes and the modal suffixes are decided by the speaker’s communicative purposes. The presence/absence of the temporal marker -ess with the medial verbs may be deeply relevant to the complex relationship between verb stem, the semantics of the morpheme, and the connectives in terms of temporality.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - East Asian Languages and Literatures (Korean)

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