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ERIC Number: ED528273
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 214
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-0550-7
A Comparative Study of Korean and Japanese Copulas: A Panchronic Perspective
Jeong, Hee-Jeong
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Despite longstanding arguments concerning the grammatical categories, functions, and status of the Korean and Japanese copulas within each language system, hardly any attention has been given to their comparative study. Researchers have asked about the function and status of the variant forms of the Japanese copula, and whether they should be treated as copulas at all. Controversy over the Korean copula's function and status has arisen because researchers have focused on specific stages of grammaticalization instead of the copula's entire developmental process. This study shows how the linguistic commonalities and differences in the evolutions of the Japanese and Korean copulas elucidate their functions in modern Japanese and Korean grammar. I have investigated the evolution of the Korean copula "i-ta" and the Japanese copula dA by examining their associated grammaticalization phenomena. In both languages, grammaticalization processes have been triggered by several factors, including the copula's phonological attrition, semantic predictability, wide syntactic distribution, and frequent use by all speakers. Moreover, both copulas perform a wide range of functions since they stand at the interface of syntax, morphology, and pragmatics. Through grammaticalization theory we can see that their developmental clines and synchronic functions are very similar. Differences exist as well. Even though "i" is a very weak vowel with low sonority, the Korean copula is strongly persistent. Instead of disappearing, it shows extensive and productive functions through incorporation with preceding nouns. In contrast, the Japanese copula becomes productive through incorporation with suffixes, which creates a number of copular variants. I argue that, within Korean grammar, a preceding nominative marker (NM) is agglutinated with the copula and its phonological functions transferred to the copula. NM deletion becomes the trigger leading to development of various stages of the copula, and explains issues concerning case assignment and palatalization. In contrast, the Japanese has a copula, with the basic form of "dA," in which the Japanese cop d- functions as a copula root and as a base for inflection. Because of this, the function of inflectional suffixes attached to d- increases as d-'s function decreases. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A