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On the Modal System in Modern Korean

  • Korean Semantics
  • 2003, 12(), pp.127-154
  • Publisher : The Society Of Korean Semantics
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

Donghoon Lim 1

1이화여자대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Lim Dong-hoon. 2003. On the Modal System in Modern Korean. Korean Semantics, 12. The concept of ‘modality’ and ‘speaker attitude’ should be redefined on the basis of linguistics proper even though they are useful in the field of philosophical psychology and logic. The modality could be divided into subjective modality and objective modality, but the objectivity of modality is very restricted in discourse contexts and the subjectivity of modality is much more basic. Imperative is distinct in terms of both its grammatical realization through verbal inflection and its function of expressing speech acts although it has been usually considered a member of deontic modality. But this kind of phenomenon concerning imperative is widespread in Korean. So the distinction between speech acts and modaltiy, sentence type is very important and necessary in Korean. A lot of differences between epistemic modality and deontic modality is superficial and they can be reinterpreted as another similarities between them. The basic difference exists in epistemic truth vs. social normality division, and the other differences are derivative. Evidential modality is a special kind of epistemic modality, and evaluative modality and deontic modality concerning the agent's ability and intent should be excluded from modality. In Korean the category of modality is expressed grammatically by verbal endings, some periphrastic constructions, and then adverbs and particles considered to express modal meanings should be excluded from modality category. Particles expressing topic, focus should be studied in terms of the theory on information structure.

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