3 years ago

Deriving the contrastiveness of contrastive -nun in Korean

Jieun Kim


The Korean particle -nun combined with an accent indicates contrast (Kuno in Linguistic Inquiry 3(3):269–320, 1972; Heycock, in: Merce (eds) Proceedings of NELS, vol 24, pp 159–187, 1993; in: Miyagawa, Saito (eds) Handbook of Japanese linguistics, Oxford University Press, Cambridge, 2007; Hara, in: Dekker, Franke (eds) Fifteenth Amsterdam colloquium, Universiteit van Amsterdam, pp 101–106, 2006; Lee, in: Lee, Gordon, Büring (eds) Topic and focus: meaning and intonation from a crosslinguistic perspective. Springer, Berlin, 2003; Tomioka, in: Zimmermann, Fery (eds) Information structure, Oxford University Press, Cambridge, pp 115–138, 2009, among many others). While this is not controversial, what it means to be contrastive remains unclear. In this paper, instead of analyzing contrastive -nun as a discourse device in the sense of information structure, as has been done in previous studies, I explore how the contrastive meaning is derived compositionally. I treat contrastive -nun as a focus sensitive particle that associates with prosodic accents in two places, generating a non-at-issue meaning. The non-at-issue meaning contains a polyadic quantifier that establishes a contrastive relationship between two elements in a given set. This analysis explains how focus following contrastive -nun is associated with -nun. It also provides an explanation for the uncertainty implicature that contrastive -nun gives rise to. Finally, it clarifies the logical relationship among different focus particles in Korean.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10988-017-9227-6

DOI: 10.1007/s10988-017-9227-6

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