Nominal structure and interpretation
Chang, Soo Jung
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This dissertation focuses on definite/indefinite markings and the occurrence of nominal phrases that are projected by a determiner head, such as articles and demonstratives, in Korean. Traditionally, Korean nominals are categorized as NPs and demonstratives as adjectives (Fukui, 1995). This idea has been prevalent in analysis of Korean nominals since the DP Hypothesis (Abney, 1987). In addition, Lyons (1999) claims that DPs cannot be projected in Korean syntax due to the lack of the grammatical D category, and inclusiveness cannot be realized because Korean has “no formal marking of definiteness.” However, I argue that DPs are universal and are not parameterized cross-linguistically. Adopting Chomsky’s (1995, 2001) Minimalist Program, Chierchia’s (1998) Nominal Mapping Hypothesis, Longobardi’s (1994) N-to-D raising, and Baptista’s (2007) T-chain approach, I present syntactic differences between NPs and DPs by suggesting that nominals with [+ref] are DPs while NPs are either non-arguments or non-referential nominals. Licensing the syntactic aspects, [+ref] triggers N to move to D covertly at LF in Korean. To support existing D elements in Korean, I show various cross-linguistic data of nominals in languages such as English, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Romanian, and Creoles. Following Guéron (2006) and Baptista (2007), I suggest that DP with multi-layers such as ClP, NumP, and QP, has inherent T-features, such as [+generic] and [+episodic] tense features. Those T-features should be eliminated in nominals as they are not categorical features of the nominals. Also, I argue against the ideas that interpretation of bare nouns is determined by predicate types or case particles. This study demonstrates that arguments with definiteness/specificity are only merged with DP, instead of ClP. Demonstratives, as a Functional Category, have various base-generated positions across languages; in the case of Korean, demonstratives co-occur with possessives since demonstratives do not compete for the same position with possessives. This dissertation validates the DP-Hypothesis which can explain parallels between the domains of sentences and nominals even in languages without articles by allowing demonstratives and null D to be heads. DPs are internal arguments, external arguments, and non-arguments with [+ref]. Korean common nouns, as derived mass nouns, are headed by D.