On the Semantic Differences of the Two Plural Forms in Korean

두 가지 복수형의 의미 차이에 대하여

  • Published : 2008.12.31


We examine the meanings of two plural forms in Korean. Kwak (2003) and Jun (2004) claimed that unmarked (i.e. zero) plural forms denote groups and 'deul' plural forms denote sums, and Kang (2007) indicated problems in such claims. Soon after, Jun (2007) raised an objection to Kang's view by slightly modifying his former analysis, and now this paper is a reply to Jun (2007). Jun's revision of his former view is one step forward but still it is faced with many authentic counter examples. In the mean time, Noh (2008) raised an objection to Kang (2007) from a totally different direction, claiming that unmarked forms are not plural but only singular. This position is not sound, either. We have so many cases where unmarked forms are used with plural interpretation. All in all, our view that unmarked forms denote singular as well plural individuals(sums, groups) and 'deul' forms denote only plural individuals(sums, groups) is to be maintained.