Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 375–398 | Cite as

Categories and Meanings of Korean Floating Quantifiers – With Some Reference to Japanese

  • Beom-Mo Kang


This paper aims to give an explicit categorial syntax and formal semantics of various forms of floating quantifiers (FQs) in Korean. Non-case-marked FQs are assigned the category of NP modifier, i.e., NP\NP and this categorization, together with the combinatorial operation of functional composition, can handle the basic cases of subject/object asymmetry. An FQ in front of a transitive verb can compose with the verb, making itself related only to the object, but not to the subject. Case-marked FQs show no such asymmetry and they can be handled when they are assigned categories of VP or TV modifiers.

Discourse factors are also relevant for FQs particularly because FQs with discourse markers, which signify some discourse-relevant prominence, enjoy the full freedom of word order as usual adverbs. Non-case-marked FQs can also be used as adverbials in a strong discourse context such as a "contrastive" one or nonconstituent coordination construction, but discourse effects are not as strong in Korean as in Japanese, as shown by still-awkward sentences with topicalized FQs. The absence of discourse restriction of contrastiveness with respect to dative NP hosts is another indication that Korean FQs are less affected by discourse factors than Japanese ones. Discourse factors are more grammaticalized in Korean than in Japanese.


Word Order Formal Semantic Discourse Effect Functional Composition Discourse Context 
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.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beom-Mo Kang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsKorea UniversitySoulKorea; E-mail

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