The Syntax and Acquisition of Negative Polarity Items in Heritage Korean
University of Kansas
This item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation investigates the syntax and acquisition of Korean negative polarity items (NPIs) in two groups of adult heritage Korean speakers: simultaneous heritage speakers and early sequential heritage speakers who speak Korean as a minority/heritage language in the United States. The present study examines how heritage Korean speakers acquire the syntactic properties of negative polarity items (NPIs) in Heritage Korean. Korean NPIs have properties that they share with English NPIs, but also properties that are distinct from English NPIs. More specifically, Korean and English allow local licensing of object NPIs. However, unlike English, Korean has matrix subject NPIs. In addition, Korean does not allow long-distance licensing of embedded object NPIs. I investigate the syntax and acquisition of NPIs in Heritage Korean, exploring the following research questions: (i) to what extent heritage Korean speakers maintain the shared property of local licensing of object NPIs, (ii) to what extent heritage Korean speakers maintain the Korean language-specific properties of subject NPI licensing and scrambling of NPIs, (iii) to what degree heritage Korean speakers show potential transfer effects from English in long-distance licensing of the embedded object NPIs, (iv) whether and how age of acquisition of English plays a role in the degree of acquisition of NPIs in Korean. The properties of the Korean NPI, amwuto `anyone' were investigated in two experiments. One is with a Grammaticality Judgment Task which tests object and subject NPI licensing. The other is with an Acceptability Judgment Task with contexts, which tests NPI scrambling. The heritage speakers were at intermediate or advanced proficiency. Overall results showed that heritage speakers fully acquired the shared properties of NPI local licensing. Acceptability of heritage speakers was as high as that of native speakers. In addition, heritage speakers acquired the Korean-specific properties of subject NPI licensing and NPI scrambling. However, regardless of a mostly advanced level of proficiency, both heritage speaker groups demonstrated potential transfer in the English-specific property of long-distance licensing of embedded object NPIs. In comparison between both heritage speaker groups, age effects were not detected in object and subject NPI licensing and NPI scrambling.
- Dissertations 
- Linguistics Dissertations and Theses 
Items in KU ScholarWorks are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
We want to hear from you! Please share your stories about how Open Access to this item benefits YOU.