A study of selected Korean pragmatic markers: synchronic and diachronic perspectives

Park, Jung-ran
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
This dissertation aims to determine the evolutionary pathways and contemporary functions of the following group of Korean pragmatic markers (PM) through an examination of historical and contemporary usage: ceki 'excuse me' vis-a-vis the attention-getter ipwa 'hey/look' and the address form yepo 'honey'; (ke)pwa 'you see'; and issci/isscanha 'you know.' The application of grammaticalization principles and mechanisms to these markers focuses on the area of semantic and pragmatic change. In examining the evolutionary pathways of these markers, emphasis is laid on the following aspects: determining the source and its characteristics; ascertaining the semantic transparency between source and target concepts; establishing grammaticalization mechanisms and principles and the motivation that impelled the grammaticalization process; sketching the developmental clines for the PMs. On the interactional domain the pragmatic markers ceki, (ke)pwa, ipwa, yepo, and issci/isscanha index the speaker's epistemic and affective/interpersonal stances regarding upcoming discourse in relation to interlocutors. On the textual domain these markers function for intra-textual coherence and sequential coordination. Such multifunctionalities are the result of null referential meaning through the grammaticalization process. It is this null referential status that allows pragmatic markers to so effectively mark diverse functions dependent on local speech context at the interactional level. The diachronic development of this group of markers adheres to a key principle of grammaticalization-unidirectionality and regularity in semantic change. Semantic extension of lexical items occurs in the initial stage of the diachronic development of these markers through the intervention of conceptual metaphoric and metonymic processes. Subsequent to semantic generalization and extension, the group of pragmatic markers underwent morpho-phonemic changes as well as change in syntactic distribution and scope. The developmental paths of the pragmatic markers (ke)pwa and issci/isscanha, the attention-getter ipwa, and the address form yepo suggest a new cline of grammaticalization: from a matrix clause to a pragmatic marker through the process of internal coalescence.
xxiii, 319 leaves
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