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A Comparative Study of the Meanings of Meli 'Head' and Kkoli 'Tail’ Through an Analysis of a Korean Written Corpus

  • Korean Semantics
  • 2014, 44(), pp.59-88
  • Publisher : The Society Of Korean Semantics
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

Haeyeon Kim 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This is a comparative study of the meanings of meli 'Head' and kkoli 'Tail’ based on an analysis of a written corpus. The research shows the frequency data, co-occurrence relations, collocation patterns of these two body-part terms in the database. First, after critically reviewing dictionary definitions of the two terms, this research shows the meanings of meli and kkoli based on the frequency rates of the two. Second, analysis of the data shows the following meanings for meli (i) the body-part head, (ii) hair, (iii) cognitive/sensual functions of the brain, (iv) the top part of concrete objects or the starting point of events/abstract notions. kkoli shows the following: (i) the body-part tail, (ii) the last part of concrete objects or abstract notions/ events. Examination shows that frequency rate of the figurative use of meli amounts to 3.5%, and that of kkoli to 67.0%. In addition, examination of the collocation patterns shows that kkoli makes a number of fixed idiomatic expressions. When we adopt metaphor theory, the figurative meanings of meli and kkoli are based on the metaphors of ABSTRACT CONCEPT(S) IS/ARE A BODY and CONCRETE OBJECT(S) IS/ARE A BODY. Finally, this research shows that a corpus-based analysis of lexical items is a useful method for the characterization of polysemous words. (Chung-Ang University)

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