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Questions on Yes/No-Question as an NPI-Licensor in Korean

  • 인문논총
  • 2014, 33(), pp.47-65
  • Publisher : Institute for Human studies, Kyungnam University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Published : February 28, 2014

Kim,Ae-ryung 1

1경남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Negative polarity items (NPIs) are observed in many languages, and they have been studied language-specifically and/or cross-linguistically. One of the topics regarding Korean NPIs is the range ofNPI-licensors. While yes/no-question is a legitimate licensor in English, it is not considered as one in Korean. An (2007) attempts to show that yes/no-question can license a new type of NPIs, amu(N)-rato ‘any(N)-even’,in Korean. This paper is concerned with reexamining amu(N)-rato and yes/no-question to see whetheramu(N)-rato is an NPI and yes/no-question can license Korean NPIs. Section 3 presents that amu(N)-rato canappear in affirmative and imperative sentences, which are not qualified for NPI-licensors. It cannot appear inan NPI-licensing environment, before-clause. Section 4 tests yes/no-question with various Korean NPIs, andfinds out that it can license an NPI kelehke ‘that much’, but cannot license the NPIs which are commonly dealtwith in the discussion of Korean NPIs such as amu(N)-to ‘any(N)-even’, NP-pakkey ‘NP-only’, han-CL-to‘one-CL-even’, and idiomatic minimizers like son-to kkattak hata ‘lift a finger’. It seems that yes/no-questionmight license an NPI, but its strength as NPI-licensor is very weak.

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