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Yeon, Jaehoon (2008) 'Is there ergativity in Korean? - The definition of ergativity and other uses of the term 'ergative' [in Korean].' Han-Geul (Journal of the Korean Language Society), 282. pp. 125-154.

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영문 벼리: This paper critically reviews the previous research on ergativity in Korean, in which the concept of ergativity has been applied to Korean morpho-syntax. We have investigated the concept of ergativity from the viewpoint of linguistic typology, and claim that there is no ergativity in Korean. Korean is an accusative language, and it is unfortunate to use the term 'ergative' in some constructions in Korean. The term 'ergativity' was used morphologically to refer to the case marking on constituents of a noun phrase, and has been extended to the marking of syntactic functions by particles or adpositions. The term 'ergative' has also been used in a syntactic sense to apply to coreferentiality constraints on the formation of complex sentences, through coordination and subordination. In terms of the well defined use of the term, Korean has neither morphological ergativity nor syntactic ergativity. Some scholars, however, have used 'ergative' in further ways, that are sometimes confusing and misleading. One particular unfortunate use of the term 'ergative verb' has been employed in connection with pairs of sentences such as John moved the stone and The stone moved. The use of 'ergative' in this lexical-semantic/causative sense is quite confusing and misleading, and this misuse originated from Halliday (1967) and Lyons (1968). If the term 'ergative' is used in this way then every language would show 'ergativity'. We will propose that this relationship can be better captured as either null-causative or neutral verb constructions. We have also critically reviewed works in generative linguistics in connection with the so-called 'ergative verb that bring about case altenations in exceptional case-marking construction, long-form negation, double subject constructions. This is another way in which the term 'ergative' is used which differs from the standard definition.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea
ISSN: 12250449
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2010 15:02

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