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Dissertation Information

Title: The Korean Internally-Headed Relative Clause Construction: Its morphological, syntactic and semantic aspects Add Dissertation
Author: Jeongrae Lee Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Arizona, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2006
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Director(s): Heidi Harley
Rudolph Troike
Simin Karimi
Andrew Barss

Abstract: This dissertation investigates the morpho-syntactic and semantic aspects of
the Korean IHRC (internally-headed relative clause) construction, which has
its semantic head within the relative clause, the relative clause being
followed by the morpheme 'kes.'

As for the status of 'kes,' I argue it is a pronoun, positioned under D or
N, depending on whether 'kes' stands alone or is modified by a
demonstrative. In either case, the IHRC receives the same semantic
interpretation as non-restrictive relative clause.

I argue the relative clause contains a full clause including TP, exhibiting
a full range of tense and aspect distinction. I provide a morphological
analysis of the IHRC predicate, identifying the contribution of each
morpheme, and the status with respect to the root predicate.

I adopt phase theory to explain the fact that the internal head cannot be
embedded within more than one phase boundary. An uninterpretable feautre on
C in the relative clause is checked against a matching interpretable
feature on the internal head--DP or the event vP--, and the index of the
internal head this percolates up to CP. The modified pro has the same index
as the CP and the internal head. An interesting syntactic contrast between
'kes' as D and 'kes' as N is that an island effect emerges in the latter
case. This is explained by adopting Johnson (2004)'s account of adjunct
islands. When 'kes' is a D, the relative clause is the same workspace as
the matrix clause, while 'kes' is an N, the relative clause is the separate

For the semantic aspects of the IHRC, I noted when the semantic head is
ambiguous ebtween the subject and another element in the embedded clause,
the subject is always favored as a semantic head. This phenomenon can be
explained by the minimal link condition: the subject is the closest
position to check the uninterpretable feaure on C, adapting Lin (2006).

Also, split-antecedent reading and VP adjunct head readings are coercion
effects of event-interruption reading produced in certain circumstances
between the matrix event and the embedded event.