Topics in the Syntax and Semantics of Korean Embedded Clauses
University of Kansas
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This dissertation explores two specific topics in Korean syntax and semantics: kes constructions and scrambling of embedded clause constructions (i.e. CP scrambling). These two topics are related to each other in that kes constructions are a type of embedded clause construction. In this dissertation, I arrive at two major conclusions. First, Korean kes constructions must be separated into two major types: head-internal relative clause (HiRC) vs. nominal complement clause (NCC) constructions, depending on the grammatical relationship between kes and its preceding embedded clause. In the HiRC construction, kes must be analyzed as an anaphoric pronoun, which is co-referential with the internal head of a HiRC. In contrast, kes in the NCC construction is regarded as a functional head of DP (i.e. D0), linking a nominal complement (a kes NCC construction) to the matrix predicate of a sentence. Furthermore, kes NCC constructions can be further divided into two subtypes: propositional and perceptional, depending on the semantic relation between a kes NCC construction and the matrix predicate of a sentence. Syntactically, only a propositional NCC construction can be projected to a full CP node. Second, in Korean, scrambling of embedded clause constructions (CP scrambling) is grammatically distinct from scrambling of simple noun phrases (DP scrambling) in that only the latter shows certain syntactic/semantic locality effects. Every scrambled embedded construction must be reconstructed to its base-generative position for the syntactic and semantic interpretation. The PF-movement hypothesis (Zubizarreta 1998; Neeleman and Reinhart 1998; etc.) is suitable in explaining the ultimate nature of CP scrambling as semantically vacuous movement. In addition, CP scrambling reflects the change of the discourse-functional flow (e.g. focus) of a sentence.
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