Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Case drop in Korean—Its empirical and theoretical investigation
by Yoon, Junghyoe, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 153; 3527652
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines a phenomenon known as 'case drop' in Korean, directing special attention to some subject-object asymmetries. In particular, the dissertation attempts to clarify the nature of the asymmetrical behaviors exhibited by the Nominative Case particle (-ka/-i) and the Accusative Case particle (-lul/-ul) of Korean in clauses and in fragment answers. (1) Case drop in clausal constructions: (a) Nwukwu-{ka / } wuyu-lul sass-ni? who-NOM milk- ACC bought-Q 'Who bought milk?' (b) YungHee-ka mwues-{ul / Ø} sass-ni? YungHee- NOM what-ACC bought-Q? 'What did YungHee buy?'(2) Case drop in fragment answers (FA): (a) YungHee-{ka / Ø} YungHee- NOM 'YungHee (bought milk).' (b) Wuyu-{Ø / *lul} milk-ACC '(YungHee bought) milk.' As seen in (1) and (2), case drop must not take place to a subject in a clause whereas case drop must occur to an object in fragment answers. The dissertation explains why restrictions on case drop apply asymmetrically between subjects and objects and also between the two distinct constructions. In the process, it will be revealed that the asymmetries in these two constructions involve totally different causes, and that the explication of one of the causes will lead us to a novel view of the correlations between the surface phonetic forms and what they are meant to indicate in terms of interpretation of the nominal arguments they mark.

The goal of the dissertation is to convince the reader that what appear to be minor and peripheral empirical phenomena in fact reflect general properties involved in specific syntactic constructions, on the one hand, and the language-specific realization of possibly universal constraints imposed on the sound (or PF) aspects of linguistic expressions, on the other hand. Where relevant, cross-linguistic comparisons of related empirical phenomena in Korean, Japanese, and English are presented.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kitagawa, Yoshihisa
Commitee: Franks, Steven, LeSourd, Philip, Rodriguez-Mondonedo, Miguel
School: Indiana University
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Abstract case, Case drop, Fragment answers, Korean, Morphological case, Syntax, Visibility
Publication Number: 3527652
ISBN: 978-1-267-62069-9
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