A lexical account of inflectional suffixes in Korean

Young Mee Yu Cho, Peter Sells

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35 Scopus citations


In this paper we give a reasonably comprehensive presentation of Korean inflectional suffixes, whose status has been somewhat controversial in the generative literature. We argue that nominal and verbal inflectional morphemes not only show phonological constituency with their hosts but also show evidence of lexical attachment, within the theory of Lexical Phonology and Morphology (Kiparsky (1982, 1985), Mohanan (1982, 1985), Inkelas (1989)). Consequently, the inflectional suffixes should combine with their hosts in a lexical formation component, separate from the syntax proper. In the second part of the paper we develop a lexical account in terms of the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar (Bresnan (1982)), augmenting the principles in that theory governing formation of constituent structures. In particular, we introduce the notion of Type, which specifies relative to one element in the syntax what its sister element can be. In developing our analysis of the relevant Korean data, we show how Type is a crucial aspect of the correct syntactic formations and further how this is the key explanatory concept for several complex interactions in the morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-174
Number of pages56
JournalJournal of East Asian Linguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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