Solving the problem of the Korean topic/subject particles nun and ka: a paradigm and a text analysis

Solving the problem of the Korean topic/subject particles nun and ka: a paradigm and a text analysis Many studies have concentrated on the Korean postpositions nun and ka.l However, there is still great confusion about usage of the two particles, especially in a 'double subject' sentence. This paper suggests that the problem could be solved by a paradigm based on a mathematical matrix that shows the relationship of the degree of markedness. A comprehensive text analysis is done to test the paradigm and to determine the distribution pattern of nun and ka for topic and subject. The explanatory and predictive power of the mathematical paradigm is supported by the text analysis. Introduction Korean, like Chinese and Japanese, is a topic-prominent language.2 Thus the following so-called 'double subject' sentence construction is common. Generally, the leftmost NP is considered the topic (indicated by nun), with the second NP as the subject of a comment on the topic (indicated by ka). (1) Khokkili-Hw« kho-faz kilta. Elephant-topic nose-subject long. 'Elephants (topic), noses are long.' (2) Ce namu-wwn iph-ka khuta. That tree-topic leaf-subject big. 'That tree (topic), leaves are big.' (3) Sayngsen-«MW tomi-ka masissta. fish-topic red snapper delicious. 'Fish (topic), red snapper is delicious.' (4) Teyleypi-HM« soni-ka cohta. TV-topic Sony-subject good. 'T.V. (topic), Sony is good (the best).' Linguistics 24 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Linguistics - An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences de Gruyter

Solving the problem of the Korean topic/subject particles nun and ka: a paradigm and a text analysis

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Walter de Gruyter
ISSN
0024-3949
eISSN
1613-396X
DOI
10.1515/ling.1986.24.2.351
Publisher site
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Abstract

Many studies have concentrated on the Korean postpositions nun and ka.l However, there is still great confusion about usage of the two particles, especially in a 'double subject' sentence. This paper suggests that the problem could be solved by a paradigm based on a mathematical matrix that shows the relationship of the degree of markedness. A comprehensive text analysis is done to test the paradigm and to determine the distribution pattern of nun and ka for topic and subject. The explanatory and predictive power of the mathematical paradigm is supported by the text analysis. Introduction Korean, like Chinese and Japanese, is a topic-prominent language.2 Thus the following so-called 'double subject' sentence construction is common. Generally, the leftmost NP is considered the topic (indicated by nun), with the second NP as the subject of a comment on the topic (indicated by ka). (1) Khokkili-Hw« kho-faz kilta. Elephant-topic nose-subject long. 'Elephants (topic), noses are long.' (2) Ce namu-wwn iph-ka khuta. That tree-topic leaf-subject big. 'That tree (topic), leaves are big.' (3) Sayngsen-«MW tomi-ka masissta. fish-topic red snapper delicious. 'Fish (topic), red snapper is delicious.' (4) Teyleypi-HM« soni-ka cohta. TV-topic Sony-subject good. 'T.V. (topic), Sony is good (the best).' Linguistics 24

Journal

Linguistics - An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciencesde Gruyter

Published: Jan 1, 1986

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