A Family of Topic Constructions in Korean: A Construction-based Analysis

  • Received : 2015.11.16
  • Accepted : 2016.02.15
  • Published : 2016.02.28


Korean is well-known for its topic-prominent properties. In this paper, we look into several subtypes of topic constructions whose grammatical complexities have received much attention in generative grammar. From a semantic/pragmatic view, topics in Korean can be classified into three different types: aboutness, contrastive, and scene-setting. Meanwhile, syntax can classify topic constructions into two types, depending on whether or not the comment clause following topic has a syntactic gap linked to the topic. In this paper, we review some key properties of these topic constructions in Korean, and suggest that each type is licensed by tight interactions between syntactic and semantic constraints. In particular, the paper tries to offer a Construction Grammar analysis where each grammatical component is interacting in non-modular ways and in which the multiple inheritance network of constructions plays an important role in capturing cross-cutting generalizations of the topic constructions.



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