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A comparative study of the phenomenon of word conversion in Korean and Chinese A comparative study of the phenomenon of word conversion in Korean and Chinese

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2009, (20), pp.71-92
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2009..20.004
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Published : June 30, 2009

Heungsoo Park 1 김영희 2

1한국외국어대학교
2한국외국어대학교 일반대학원

Candidate

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we investigate conversion words in Korean and Chinese. Conversion words are those that have two or more grammatical functions depending on their context while retaining a related meaning. In Korean, which is an agglutinative language, the majority of words have only one grammatical function and their word class can only be changed by adding particular suffixes. However few words have more than one word class or have different grammatical functions in the different sentences, this small group is called "zero-derived conversion". On the other hand, in Chinese, which is an isolating language, one word often holds two or more classes at the same time and the word class is defined by the word order of a particular sentience. In chapter 2 we address the definition of conversion words and introduce an approach for determining the difference between homophones and conversion words. Conversion words don't change form or pronunciation when they are used as a different word class and their meaning does not change significantly. If the meaning is not related it is a homophone, not a conversion word. In chapter 3 we analyse some examples of conversion words in Korean and Chinese and compare them based on part of speech classifications; noun, verb, adjective and adverb.

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