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A Comparative Study of the Grammaticalization of Benefactive Verbs in Chinese and Korean

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2008, (17), pp.23-46
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2008..17.002
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Published : August 31, 2008

Haiyan Mao 1

1이화여자대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This study examines the grammaticalization proesses of the benefactive verbs in Chinese and Korean. Both “給” in Chinese and “주다” in Korean are high-frequency words, and this makes them very likely to undergo a grammaticalization process. “給” in Chinese originally was a benefactive verb, which developed into a causative verb. It then further developed into the verb that has the interpretations of benefaction, disposal, and passiveness. It finally extended to function as a focus-marking particle, We can observe a relationship among these meanings and functions of “給”. “給” is currently in the grammaticalization process, and this explains why there are various syntactic forms and functions of “給”, which causes a complexity in usage. Nonetheless, the statistics reveals that the primary grammatical function of “給” is still of a benefactive marker. “주다” in Koran origianlly was a benefactive verb that involves the actual event of giving, and has become a suffix representing the meaning of benefaction. Though Chinese and Korean are typologically different, we can observe that the benefactive verbs in both languages became benefactive markers. This is due to the commonality in human cognition, which made the grammaticalization processes of the benefactive verbs in Chinese and Korean similar.

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