This paper conducted a Chinese-Korean contrastive analysis of modern Chinese ‘X-rán(然)’ and its equivalent Sino-Korean words from a distributed morphology perspective. The results are as follows.
First, in the modern Chinese ‘X-rán(然)’ structure, ‘-rán(然)’ is not only used as an adjective and adverbial suffix, but is also used as a suffix to form nouns, verbs, distinctions, and conjunctions.
Second, in Sino-Korean words, the ‘X-rán(然)’ structure is projected as root and root phrase, and then combined again with functional categories to generate synthetic compounds. Its functional categories were shown as zero form(adverbals, nouns), ‘-ha-’ (adjectives), ‘-hi’(adverbals), ‘-ko’(adverbals), and ‘-jeog’(determiners, nouns).
Third, the ‘X-rán(然)’ structure has the characteristics of synthetic compounds, which are generated in a distributed morphological manner in both Chinese and Korean.
Chinese is generated in the manner of covert distributed morphology, but Korean is generated in the manner of overt distributed morphology.
Recognizing this, if Koreans learn Chinese, they can rule out more interferences, which will enhance the effectiveness of teaching.