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Title: Aspects of Korean syntax: quantification, relativization, topicalization, and negation
Authors: Oh, Choon-Kyu
Keywords: Korean Language
Issue Date: 1971
Publisher: University of Hawaii
Abstract: Chomsky used to claim that only the syntactic component is generative, while the phonological and semantic components are interpretative. The base component was supposed to be solely responsible for meaning, and transformations were not supposed to change meaning. As the discipline of linguistics has advanced since then, we have come to see the limitations of this approach, and linguists such as Lakoff, Ross, and McCawley have claimed that the semantic component is generative. Since the adoption of generative theory in syntactic analysis, almost all linguistic arguI.lents have centered around the sentence. However, this sentential approach has resulted in the insolubility of many problems, such as pronominalization, topicalization, quantification, relativization, and negation. By offering better solutions to long-standing problems like quantification, relativization, topicalization, and negation in Korean syntax, the present dissertation aims to show the limitations of any approach which concentrates on the sentence as a linguistic unit or which takes semantics to be interpretative. It is true that at the present stage there are still many problems to be solved within the generative-semantic, discourse-centered approach (the problem of deciding the boundary of a discourse being only one of them). One possible solution suggested here is a topic-by-topic approach--viz. the view that there are two basic types of sentences: an introductory sentence which introduces the existence of an object or fact, and other sentences which assert things other than the existence of that item. The same sentence can be introductory for one NP and non-introductory for another NP in the larger sentence. Naturally, an introductory sentenc"l is ordered before the other types of sentence. In Chapter Two, Carden's analysis of quantification is reviewed and its limitations are indicated and circumvented. It is shown how the concept of the introductory sentence enables the grammar correctly to predict and explain many problems related to quantification. The validity of the suggested approach is tested on negating and interrogating sen::.::!nces which contain quantifiers and other indefinite phrases consisting of an adjective plus a noun. Carden's explanations of the peculiar properties of quantifiers observed by him are carried further by showing that quantifiers cannot be predicates of introductory sentences. Adjectives which occur in a non-introductory sentence are negated exactly the way adjectives are when moved into an introductory sentence by a rule that generates non-restrictive relative clauses, which rule is also responsible for moving quantifiers. In Chapter Three, restrictive and non-restrictive relativizations are discussed. Different underlying structures are suggested for them and justified. RESTRICTIVE-RELATIVE-CLAUSE FORMATION is shown to be a copying rule. It copies an introductory sentence into the following sentence. This copying rule is the opposite of the rule, NON-RESTRICTIVE-RELATIVE-CLAUSE FORMATION, except that the former is not a simple permutation rule. The definition of definiteness adopted in this dissertation suggests a neat solution to an age-old problem in Korean--n~n and ka as subject particles (the counterparts of Japanese ~ and ~), which is discussed in Chapter Four. In Chapter Five, the author shows how a NEG-INCORPORATION rule is needed for the correct description of negation in Korean. In an Appendix, the role of presupposition in grammar is illustrated with one of the major processes in Korean syntax, pronominalization by deletion. The writer tries to show throughout how the generativesemantic approach alone can handle in a natural manner the problems discussed here, by importing the notion of presupposition into syntax.
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