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Grammaticalization and Pragmatic Functions of –KES KATH–.

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Title:Grammaticalization and Pragmatic Functions of –KES KATH–.
Authors:Choi, Yoon Hwa
Contributors:East Asian Lang & Lit-Korean (department)
-kes kath-
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:The purpose of this study is to examine the Korean construction -nun/un/ul kes kath from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives based on the frameworks of grammaticalization and discourse analysis.
Three pragmatic functions of -nun/un/ul kes kath in contemporary Korean are analyzed from the synchronic perspective. The first function is to denote similarity, and is derived from the meaning of the adjective kath- (‘sameness, identicalness’). The second function is to indicate conjecture, representing the speaker’s uncertainty about the message being conveyed. The third function is to make utterances ambiguous as a politeness strategy, by softening the force of speech acts and reducing their potential threat to the interlocutors’ face.
The grammaticalization path of -nun/un/ul kes kath is also explored. First, the dissertation describes the semantic changes of -nun/un/ul kes kath. Its objective meaning of similarity has shifted to the subjective meaning of conjecture. When it became a way to express politeness, it gained an intersubjective, interactional function. Second, the dissertation presents the syntactic development of -nun/un/ul kes kath. A construction consisting of the nominalizer kes + wa/kwa + main adjective kath- was reanalyzed as the complementizer kes + [omission of comitative wa/kwa] + auxiliary adjective kath-, and then as the defunct complementizer kes + suffix kath-. Phonological reduction also occurred, as -keskwa kath- came to be realized as -kes kath-, and then as -ke kath- / -kke kath-.
The study also demonstrates how -nun/un/ul kes kath as an inferential evidential modal marker not only displays politeness but also indicates the evidential quality of the
information source. The study shows that -nun/un/ul kes kath serves additional functions as well, such as helping the speaker successfully disclaim responsibility, strengthen his/her claim, enhance solidarity, and accomplish self-politeness.
In addition, the dissertation presents a brief analysis of the semantic, syntactic, and phonological changes of three other Korean conjectural expressions, -na po/-nun-ka-po, -nun/un/ul moyang-i, and -nun/un/ul tus ha, which show similar shifts from conjectural to politeness functions, as well as having gained similar evidential qualities. The dissertation discusses whether they can also be considered inferential evidential modal markers.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - East Asian Languages and Literatures (Korean)

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