Topics in Korean Syntax: Phrase Structure, Variable Binding and Movement

M.-Y. Kang, 1988

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This thesis has two parts: Part 1 considers problems related to the phrase structure of Korean; Part 2 investigates problems related to Korean enu"na construction.  Part 1 consists of chapters 2 and 3; Part 2 consists of chapters 4 and 5.

In chapter 2, we discuss "VP-focus" constructions and "Long-form" negation constructions in Korean.  It will be shown that these Korean constructions utilize the "VP-shell" structure proposed in Larson (1988), with certain extensions.  It will also be argues that the element "ki in Korean can be a "nominalizer" of a VP.  The Korean progressive construction involving - ko iss " will be analyzed as another instance of the "VP-shell" structure.  The notion "morphological closure", a crucial concept in understanding "agglutinating" languages like Korean, will also be introduced in this chapter.

In chapter 3, what is often called "nominalization" structures in Korean, involving "ki/ci, -l/n kes, -l/n ci, -l su, etc., will be investigated.  It will be shown that they are not involved in a category-changing process and that they must be viewed as an "NP-shell".  It will be argues however that these "NP-shells" must also be viewed as complementizers or simply as syntactic features at D- or S-structure.  Hence, the main point of the chapter is that the level of representation at which these elements are analyzed as NP-shells and the level of representation at which these are analyzed as complementizers or as syntactic features must be distinguished.  A new level of representation, which is called "Pre-D-structure", will be proposed as a level where these elements are represented as NP-shells.  These NP-shells, then, will be functionally determined to be either complementizers or syntactic features during the mapping from the Pre-D-structure to D-structure.

Chapter 4 will discuss the variable binding problems in the Korean enu"na construction, some of which will be identified as a particular type of donkey sentence and others of which will be identified as "Specifier-Binding" constructions.  It will be argued that the Korean data support the "Indirect Binding" approach of Haik (1984).

In the final chapter of this thesis, it will  be shown that there are two important constraints in the positions that the NP that enu is the specifier of (we will call it "enu NP") can occupy within the relative clause: (i) the "Overt Subject Constraint" (OSC) and (ii) the Wh-island Constraint.  I will then try to derive these constraints by assuming an LF movement of enu NP to a position that can be governed by the element "na.  It will be argued that the first of these constraints will be derivable with certain assumptions about the specifiers and projections and with a certain revision of the notion of barrier, following an extended version of Fukui & Speas (1986); and that the second of these constraints will be derivable if we adopt the concept "Relativized Minimality", proposed by Rizzi (1987).

Thesis Supervisor:         Kenneth Hale

Title:                             Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Linguistics

Table of Contents

Chapter 1         Introduction

            1.1       Introduction                                                                                          1

            1.2       Focus of inquiry                                                                                    2

            1.3       Organization of UG and basic concepts                                     3

            1.4       Summary of thesis                                                                                 8

Part 1:  Phrase Structural Concerns

Chapter 2         VP-structure

            2.1       Introduction                                                                                          12

            2.2       Basic properties of VP-focus constructions

                        2.2.1    Terminology                                                                             15

                        2.2.2    Particle "ki a nominalizer of VP?                                               20

            2.3       Bi-clausal analysis

                        2.3.1    Introduction                                                                              23

                        2.3.2    Negation in Korean                                                                  24

                        2.3.3    Arguments against bi-clausal analysis

                           Aspect co-occurrence                                                  26

                           Case marking in negation                                              32

            2.4       VP-complementation

                        2.4.1    V-movement                                                                            37

                        2.4.2    "VP-shell"                                                                                42

                        2.4.3    Larson (1988)                                                                          45

                        2.4.4    Extension of Larson                                                                  51

                        2.4.5    "Upper verb"                                                                            53

            2.5       Functional elements "ki/-ci and "ko

                        2.5.1    Introduction                                                                              64

                        2.5.2    Nominalizer "ki                                                                        66

                        2.5.3    Functional element "ko                                                 74

            2.6       AGR element "si                                                                                  80

Chapter 3         "NP-shell"

            3.1       Introduction                                                                                          84

            3.2       The suffix "ki and "NP-shell"                                                                84

            3.3       Representation of "NP-shell" (I)                                                            90

            3.4       Representation of "NP-shell" (II)                                                          94

            3.5       Existence of complementizer in Korean syntax                           99

            3.6       Representation of "NP-shell" (III)                                                         113

            3.7       The case of the NP-shell for VP                                                            129

            3.8       The prenominal ending "l/n                                                                   145

            3.9       A speculation: existence of Pre-D-structure                                           151

Part 2:  Problems of enu"na Construction

Chapter 4         "Specifier-Binding" and Donkey Anaphora

            4.1       Introduction                                                                                          158

            4.2       Variable binding                                                                                    159

            4.3       Partial review

                        4.3.1    Theories about "Specifier-Binding" constructions                       167

                        4.3.2    Theories about Donkey Anaphora                                             176

            4.4       Korean data and indirect binding

                        4.4.1    Morphology of Korean quantifying expressions             187

                        4.4.2    Korean pronominal binding                                                       192

                        4.4.3    Particle "na                                                                              196

                        4.4.4    Haik"s (1984) indirect binding                                       211

            4.5       Korean donkey/"Specifier Binding" sentences and generalized

indirect binding

4.5.1    enu/nuku"na and generalized indirect binding              217

4.5.2    Donkey sentences                                                                     220

Chapter 5         Enu"na Construction and Movement

            5.1       Introduction                                                                                          226

            5.2       Restrictions on the position of enu NP within the relative clause

                        5.2.1    Unbounded dependency                                                           227

                        5.2.2    Locality                                                                                    229

                        5.2.3    Over subject constraint                                                 235

            5.3       Movement of enu NP

                        5.3.1    Several assumptions                                                                  247

                        5.3.2    Deriving the OSC

                           Introduction                                                                  253

                           Specifiers and projections                                             254

                           OSC                                                                            260

                        5.3.3    Deriving the Wh-island Constraint                                             278