A Structure of Passive Constructions in Korean and their meaning 'Potential'

한국어 피동문의 구조와 가능(potential)의 의미 해석 -대조적 관점에서-

  • Published : 2006.12.30


Which syntactic function should we assign to the 'ga-type' constituent which occurs in the morphological passive constructions in Korean, [N0-neun N1-i Vpass-ending]? This problem is very important in two respects. First, a small change of status of the particle 'i/ga' can exert an overall influence on the Korean grammar. Second, the particle '-i/ga' cannot guarantee that 'ga-type' constituents are subject of the sentence, so that the concept of syntactic category should be distinguished from that of syntactic function. This paper claims that the analysis of sentence has long been focused on the structure of proposition, namely the argument structure and that the direction of analysis should be turned to the 'person structure' which can be revealed on the pragmatic level. On the basis of this, this paper suggests that the specific type of the morphological passive constructions in Korean, [N0-neun N1-i Vpass-ending] should be analysed in line with the psych-verb constructions and that the modal meaning 'potential' of the passive constructions is correlated with sentence pattern and 'person structure'.