Advertisement

Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 1–24 | Cite as

Plurality and other semantic aspects of common nouns in Korean

  • Beom-Mo Kang
Article

Abstract

In this paper, I try to present the semantics of Korean common nouns in light of Link's (1983) semantic theory on denotations of plurals and mass terms. First, I show that the semantic count/mass distinction of common nouns is as important in Korean as in English, despite the fact that the distinction is blurred in some constructions such as the canonical quantification structure of [CN(Nominal) + Numeral + Classifier]. Then, the semantic domains of Korean count nouns are shown to be much like those of English count nouns except that the denotation of a syntactically singular count noun in Korean may include a semantically plural domain as well as a singular domain. For instance, using Link's Logic of Plurals and Mass Terms,sakwa in Korean denotes |*apple'|, rather than |apple'|, the latter being the denotation of Englishapple. It is also shown that the semantic domains of common nouns, in Korean and even in English in some cases, are much more flexible than may be thought. This claim is made with respect to the proportional reading of Englishmany (discussed by Partee (1988)) and Koreanmanhun. In this connection, a possible semantic treatment of Korean classifiers as domain shifters is provided. This enables us to capture our semantic intuition about anomalous expressions such aschayk ‘book’,han ‘one’, and the classifiercan ‘glass’. Finally, some problems closely related to the interpretation of common nouns, namely the problems of kinds, genericity, and topicality, are discussed. It is shown how these notions are related in the theory which allows flexible interpretive domains of common nouns.

Keywords

Mass Term Semantic Theory Quantification Structure Canonical Quantification Common Noun 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ahn, Sung-Ho, Kwang-sup Kim, and Chungmin Lee (1993) “Constraints on Presupposition Accommodation,” in C. Lee and B. Kang (eds.),Language, Information and Computation: Proceedings of Asian Conference '92, Thaehaksa, Seoul, pp. 36–49.Google Scholar
  2. Bach, Emmon (1989)Informal Lectures on Formal Semantics, SUNY Press, Albany, NY.Google Scholar
  3. Barwise, Jon and Robin Cooper (1981) “Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language,”Linguistics and Philosophy 4, 159–219.Google Scholar
  4. Carlson, Greg N. (1977) “A Unified Analysis of the English Bare Plural,”Linguistics and Philosophy 1, 413–457.Google Scholar
  5. Carlson, Greg N. (1989) “On the Semantic Composition of English Generic Sentences,” in G. Chierchia, B. Partee, and R. Turner (eds.),Properties, Types, and Meaning, vol. II, Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 167–192.Google Scholar
  6. Chierchia, Gennaro (1982) “Bare Plurals, Mass Nouns, and Nominalization,”Proceedings of West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 1, 243–255.Google Scholar
  7. Chierchia, Gennaro and Ray Turner (1988) “Semantics and Property Theory,” inLinguistics and Philosophy 11, 261–302.Google Scholar
  8. Choe, Hyun-Bae (1971)Uli Malpon [Our Grammar], 4th ed. (1st ed.: 1927), Chungumsa, Seoul.Google Scholar
  9. Choe, Jae-woong (1987)Anti-Quantifiers and a Theory of Distributivity, PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.Google Scholar
  10. Fukushima, Kazuhiko (1993) “Model Theoretic Semantics for Japanese Floating Quantifiers and Their Scope Properties,” to appear inJEAL 2-3.Google Scholar
  11. Gil, David (1989) “Scopal Quantifiers: Some Universals of Lexical Effability,” to appear in M. Keffer and J. van der Auwera (eds.),Meaning and Grammar: Cross-Linguistic Perspectives, Mouton, Berlin.Google Scholar
  12. Heim, Irene (1982)The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases, PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.Google Scholar
  13. Im, Hong-Bin (1991) “On Classifiers in Korean,” paper presented at the summer meeting of Linguistic Society of Korea.Google Scholar
  14. Kamp, Hans (1981) “A Theory of Truth and Semantic Representation,” in J. Groenendijk, T. Janssen, and M. Stokhof (eds.),Formal Methods in the Study of Language, Matematisch Centrum, Amsterdam, pp. 277–322.Google Scholar
  15. Kang, Beom-mo (1988)Functional Inheritance, Anaphora, and Semantic Interpretation in a Generalized Categorial Grammar, PhD dissertation, Brown University.Google Scholar
  16. Kim, Young-Hee (1984)Hankuke Seymswuthwa Kwumwunui Thongsalon [A Syntax of Quantification in Korean], Tower Press, Seoul.Google Scholar
  17. Landman, Fred (1989) “Groups, I, II,” inLinguistics and Philosophy 12, 559–605, 723–744.Google Scholar
  18. Landman, Fred (1991)Structures for Semantics, Kluwer, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  19. Lee, Chungmin (1989) “(In)definites, Case Markers, Classifiers, and Quantifiers in Korean,” in S. Kuno et al. (eds.),Harvard Studies in Korean Linguistics III, pp. 469–487.Google Scholar
  20. Lee, Chungmin (1993) “Generic Sentences and Definite Descriptions,” paper delivered at Seoul Workshop for Formal Grammar Theory.Google Scholar
  21. Lee, Ik-Hwan (1992) “A Quantificational Analysis of Generic Expressions in Korean,” inProceedings of SICOL '92, 1024–1035.Google Scholar
  22. Lee, Nam-Soon (1982) “Tanswuwa Pokswu [Singularity and Plurality],”Korean Linguistics 11, 117–141.Google Scholar
  23. Link, Godehard (1983) “The Logical Analysis of Plurals and Mass Terms: a Latticetheoretical Approach,” in R. Bäuerle, C. Schwarze, and A. von Stechow (eds.),Meaning, Use, and Interpretation of Language, de Gruyer, Berlin, pp. 302–323.Google Scholar
  24. Link, Godehard (1987) “Generalized Quantifiers and Plurals,” in P. Gärdenfors (ed.),Generalized Quantifiers, Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 151–180.Google Scholar
  25. Partee, Barbara H. (1987) “Noun Phrase Interpretation and Type-Shifting Principles,” in J. Groenendijk, D. de Jongh, and M. Stokhof (eds.),Studies in Discourse Representation Theory and the Theory of Generalized Quantifiers, Foris, Dordrecht, pp. 271–299.Google Scholar
  26. Partee, Barbara, H. (1988) “Many Quantifiers,”Proceedings of Eastern States Conference on Linguistics (ESCOL) '88.Google Scholar
  27. Partee, Barbara H., Alice ter Meulen, and Robert E. Wall (1990)Mathematical Methods in Linguistics, Kluwer, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  28. Schubert, Lenhart K. and Francis J. Pelletier (1987) “Problems in the Representation of the Logical Form of Generics, Plurals, and Mass Nouns,” in E. LePore (ed.),New Directions in Semantics, Academic Press, New York, pp. 385–451.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beom-Mo Kang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsKorea UniversitySeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations