Advertisement

Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 1–25 | Cite as

Dynamic and Stative Information in Temporal Reasoning: Interpretation of Korean Past Markers in Narrative Discourse

  • Eun-Hee Lee
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper compares the Korean past tense marker -ess with another past form -essess (double past), the distinction between which has been controversial among Korean linguists, and provides a discourse-based semantic analysis of them. It is argued that -ess and -essess are logically distinguished in terms of dynamic versus stative information in dynamic semantics, which is more or less in line with the distinction between the English past and the past perfect. The simple past in English and the Korean -ess at least have the potential to give dynamic information, updating the given context with a new event and shifting the current temporal perspective. The English past perfect and the Korean --essess, on the other hand, provide stative, background information, preserving the given context. However, while the English past perfect is ambiguous between preterit and aspectual inter-pretations, Korean -essess has only the preterit interpretation, triggering a flashback effect in narratives. Their semantic properties and differences are represented in Discourse Representation Theory.

The Korean past forms Narrative discourse Dynamic semantics Dynamic context-updaters Static-context preservers Discourse representation theory 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abusch, D. (1988). Sequence of tense, intensionality and scope. WCCFL 7.Google Scholar
  2. Ahn, Y. (1995). The aspectual and temporal system of Korean: From the perspective of the two-component theory of aspect. PhD dissertation, University of Texas at Austin.Google Scholar
  3. An, D.-H. (1980). Semantics of Korean tense markers. PhD dissertation, Georgetown University.Google Scholar
  4. Bennett M., Partee B. (1972). Toward the logic of tense and aspect in English. Bloomington, Indiana University Linguistics ClubGoogle Scholar
  5. Caenepeel M. (1995). Aspect and text structure. Linguistics, 33, 213–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Choe, H.-B. (1965). Wuli mal pon [Our Grammar]. Seoul: Cengumsa.Google Scholar
  7. Comrie B. (1985). Tense. Cambridge, Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  8. Davidson D. (1967). The logical form of action sentences. In: Rescher N. (eds) The logical decision and action. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, pp. 81-95Google Scholar
  9. Dowty D. (1979). Word meaning and Montague grammar. Dordrecht, ReidelGoogle Scholar
  10. Hinrichs, E. (1986). Temporal anaphora in discourse in English. Linguistics and Philosophy, 9, 63–82.Google Scholar
  11. Huh, W. (1983). Kwuehak [Korean linguistics] Seoul: Saym.Google Scholar
  12. Kamp, H. (1971). Formal properties of ‘now’. Theoria, 37, 227–273.Google Scholar
  13. Kamp, H. & Reyle, U. (1993). From discourse to logic. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  14. Kamp, H., & Rohrer, C. (1983). Tense in texts. In R. Bauerle, C. Schwartze, & A. von Stechow (Eds.), Meaning, use, and interpretation of language (pp. 250–269). Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  15. Kim, N.-K. (1975). The double past in Korean. Foundations of Language, 12, 529–536.Google Scholar
  16. Ladusaw, W. (1977). Some problems with tense in PTQ. Texas Linguistic Forum, 6, 89–102.Google Scholar
  17. Lee, C. (1987). Temporal expressions in Korean. In J. Verschueren., & M. Bertuccelli-Papi (Eds.), The Pragmatic perspective: Selected papers from the 1985 International Pragmatics Conference, (pp. 405–447). Amsterdam: Benjamin.Google Scholar
  18. Lee, H. S. (1991). Tense, aspect and modality: A discourse-pragmatic analysis of verbal suffixes in Korean from a typological perspective. PhD dissertation, UCLA.Google Scholar
  19. Martin, S. E. (1954). Korean morphophonemics. Baltimore: Linguistic Society of America.Google Scholar
  20. McCoard R. (1978). The English perfect: Tense-choice and pragmatic inferences. Amsterdam, North-HollandGoogle Scholar
  21. Montague R. (1973). The proper treatment of quantification in ordinary English. In: Hintikka J., Moravcsik J.M.E., Suppes P.(eds) Approaches to natural language, Proceedings of the 1970 stanford workshop on grammar and semantics. Dordrecht, D. Reidel, pp. 221-242Google Scholar
  22. Nam, K.-S. (1978). Kuke mwunpep-euy sicey mwuncey-ey kwanhan yenkwu [A study of Korean tense]. Seoul: Tower Press.Google Scholar
  23. Oh S.-Y. (2003). The Korean verbal suffix -ess-: A diachronic account of its multiple uses. Journal of Pragmatics, 35, 1181–1222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ogihara T. (1995). Tense, attitudes, and scope. Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic PublishersGoogle Scholar
  25. Partee B. (1973). Some structural analogies between tenses and pronouns in English. The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 601–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Partee B. (1984). Nominal and temporal anaphora. Linguistics and Philosophy, 7, 243–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Prior A. (1967). Past, present, and future. Oxford, Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  28. Reichenbach H. (1947). Elements of symbolic logic. New York, Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  29. Sohn S.O. (1995). Tense and aspect in Korean. Honolulu, University of Hawaii PressGoogle Scholar
  30. Vendler Z. (1967). Linguistics and philosophy. Ithaca, Cornell University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsSUNY BuffaloBuffaloUSA

Personalised recommendations