Author: Yunseok Lee
Paperback: ISBN: 9783862885343 Pages: 124 Price: Europe EURO 58.80
The purpose of this study is twofold: a systematic description of Korean numeral classifier system and an investigation of competence in the classifiers by different groups. The empirical work to investigate competence in the classifiers by different groups is necessary to test the inventories of numeral classifiers and examine some socio-cultural factors affecting classifier use. The numeral classifier system in Korean basically follows universal principles of other numeral classifier languages in their morpho-syntactic and semantic aspects, such as correlation with the inherent properties of head nouns, anaphoric or deictic function, division of numeral classifiers into sortal and mensural, focus on the enumeration of inanimate concrete objects, salient semantic parameters between animates and inanimates, dominance of shape-based dimensions, metaphoric extensions, existence of general classifiers, and so on.
However, the semantics of Korean numeral classifiers shows strong correlations with cultural aspects. The combinations of numerals and Korean classifiers can float in the sentences and the variations of their positions account for different syntactic and semantic functions and connotations in the sentences. Classifiers in Korean undergo change, obsolescence or borrowing, and a contributing factor to the obsolescence of classifiers is the tendency to replace specific classifiers with general classifiers.
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