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«1. Introduction. In Korean and Japanese Morphology from a lexical perspective, Sells (1995) argues against the view that complex words in Japanese or ...»

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Korean (and Japanese) morphology from a syntactic perspective

Hilda Koopman, UCLA


1. Introduction.

In Korean and Japanese Morphology from a lexical perspective, Sells (1995) argues against the

view that complex words in Japanese or Korean like (1b) are derived from the underlying

syntactic structure in (1c) by syntactic head movement (Sells 1995: 280)*:

(1) a. Mary -ga oyog- ana- katta- to Japanese

Mary-NOM swim-NEG- PAST-C b. C c. CP T C TP C to to Neg T DP 3 3 katta Mary-ga NegP T V Neg 3 katta oyag ana VP Neg ana oyog Sells establishes that the complex word in (1b) does not contain any pronounced arguments of V, and argues against the syntactic view in (1), on the grounds that it leads to expectations that are not met. In particular, if inflectional morphemes are heads, they should behave as heads: they should not be transparent for selection, and they should determine the category of the complex word. Sells shows that certain inflectional morphemes are transparent for locality of selection, and that the leftmost element in Korean and Japanese ‘words’ shows head-like behavior in that it determines the categorical feature of the complex word. Sells concludes that the properties of these words should not receive a syntactic treatment. and outlines a lexicalist account which takes the templatic nature of the morphology as basic. Strictly morphological principles regulate the flow of information within the word, a task normally performed by X-bar theory or the theory of Projection. Since Sells’ account remains sketchy, I will not address its details here.

In this reply, I will concentrate on Sells’ arguments against the syntactic view that words are built in the syntax, and develop a syntactic account which yields a parsimonious account of the properties of “morphological units”: neither templatic morphology nor special morphological principles are necessary. The properties of morphological words follow from regular syntactic principles, in conjunction with phonological properties of the affixes. I will agree with Sells that the syntactic structure in (1c) does not underlie the inflected words, and that the words are not derived by head movement: instead, I will pursue the idea that the complex words in question are derived by phrasal movement from merged head complement structures (Kayne 1994:52-53).

This reply is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses the basic surface constituency of Korean (and Japanese) sentences in very general terms. Section 3 spells out some of the relevant syntactic assumptions in which this reply is couched, and lays out what we should expect to find. Section 4 turns to the particular cases Sells discusses, motivates syntactic analyses for them, going beyond Sells discussions. Section 5 extends the analysis to other problems of Korean morphosyntax, including the relative ordering of the focus particle man ‘only’ and the structural case markers, and two types of subject agreement in Korean, honorific agreement and plural agreement. Section 6 turns to a discussion of the interaction between word structure and scope (Lee 2004) and section 7 concludes.

2. Surface constituency.

In a simple OV sentence in Korean, the verb does not form a surface constituent with any of the elements its selects for, as Sells shows with phonological arguments. The same point can be made by the placement of short negation an, which is (minimally) adjoined to VP (Whitman 2003,

Hagström 2003), and intervenes between the dependents of the verb and the verb:

–  –  –

Korean and Japanese are agglutinative languages, with the order of morphemes basically reflecting the syntactic hierarchy. Inflectional morphemes have predictable phonology, and are phrasal affixes (Yoon 1994). They allow their dependents to be coordinated, as illustrated for the past tense affix in the example below.1

–  –  –

This leads to the straightforward conclusion that these inflectional morphemes spell out the corresponding syntactic head positions, in very similar ways as English ‘s does.

Since the verb and the inflectional morphemes form a phonological constituent, the question arises if this surface phonological constituent is formed pre-spell out or not. Some linguists argue the V remains within the VP in the syntax, and forms a constituent after ‘rebracketing’ or Marantz’s ‘Merger’ in the phonology (Yoon 1994, Fukui and Sakai 2003), others argue that the V must raise out of the VP pre spell-out on the basis of ellipsis and coordination (Otani and Whitman 1991, Koizumi 2000)2. Kayne (1994) suggests the V remains within the VP, but the VP is attracted to the Spec of some head, yielding the head final property.

(5) [TP[..[ V..] [T’[T…..

This treatment is basically parallel to ‘s in English [[DPJohn] [’s [brother], and extends to all affixes that are phrasal affixes. This general analysis is compatible with analyses where the VP contains no other overt material than the V (Kayne, 1994: 141:fnt15), or only the verb and some some VP material, which I will be tacidly assuming. These finer details of the derived structure are independent of the main point of this paper, and a subject for future research.

3. Expectations under the syntactic view.

How can the phrasal movement approach explain the properties of complex words in Korean and Japanese Sells that describes? Let us briefly examine the expectations and predictions of the phrasal movement approach to complex words.

3.1. Specifiers Specifiers are to the left of heads, and attract phrases. Phrases in Spec can be attracted to higher Spec positions, as is the case with NP-movement, and successive cyclic wh-movement.

(6) a. Johni seems Johni to be Johni likely Johni to Johni become Johni an artist b. whoi do you think whoi that Mary wrote an e-mail to whoi Given the phrasal movement view, we expect to find similar cases in morphology. Thus, with H1 merged higher than H2 (H1H2), and H2 and H1 attracting XP, we should find cases that result in the linear order XP H1 H2 by extraction of XP stranding H2, where XP H1 and H2 form a phonological “word”.

–  –  –

Importantly, the linear order H1-H2 is the same as the hierarchical order: H1 is merged higher than H2, takes H2P as a righthand sister, and precedes H2 at spell-out. Notice that this linear does not “mirror” the syntactic hierarchy, since the surface inner affix is not hierarchically lower than the outer affix. In this sense, the example in (7) violates Baker’s Mirror Principle (Baker 1985). As I will show, the configuration in (7) surfaces in some cases in Japanese and Korean, thus revealing the head initial merged structure, even though the morphology of Korean and Japanese in general strongly mirrors the syntactic hierarchy. Thus, H1H2XP is mirrored as XP]H2]H1). This order arises through pied-piping, sometimes also referred to as “roll-up” (XP raises to Spec of H2, and H2P raises to Spec H1).

–  –  –

3.2. Heads.

Heads, regardless of whether they are functional or lexical, project and determine the category and properties of their projection. Thus, the category of a tensed verb is [TV[T]], not V. Heads select for their complements, and satisfy selection under first merge. Heads impose restrictions on their Spec as well. I will refer to this as Spec selection: the EPP feature, whatever its status may be, is an instance of Spec selection. In addition, heads can have phonological properties, for example the phonological property that it needs to “lean” on a particular lexical category (the traditional bound morpheme property), or the property that it needs to “lean” on some overt material in a phonological phrase (the clitic property). Thus, a phrasal affix can attract some particular phrase to its Spec, where its EPP feature is satisfied. That phrase can undergo further movement, stranding the affix, provided there is a suitable higher attractor, say a focus head or a wh-head. Stranding can only happen if the phrasal affix cares only about being incorporated into a phonological phrase. This yields the highly restricted and very local types of movements of (7) above.

3.3. Pied-piping and Spec head agreement.

Attracted elements in Spec positions find themselves in the canonical pied-piping triggering configuration (Webelhuth 1992): a wh-feature in an embedded Spec can ‘percolate’ up to the containing DP node, enabling the containing DP to check the wh-feature.

(9) [ [[whose brother] ‘s friend]’s car] did you borrow Koopman (1996) and Koopman and Szabolsci (2000) propose that ‘percolation’ results from cyclic applications of Spec head agreement3. Agreement copies4 some feature from a Spec onto the head. If a head H acquires a feature through agreement, the HP will carry that feature, by projection: properties of heads determine the properties of the projection as a whole.

If complex words are formed by phrasal movement, similar instances of pied-piping and agreement are expected: in particular some property of a phrase in an embedded Spec should be ‘visible’ on the containing category. Assume, for concreteness, the hierarchy H1H2XP, with XP carrying the feature x, and XP moves to Spec, H2 and H2P raising to Spec H1. Cyclic application of spec head

agreement and the theory of projection carries the feature x up to H1P:

–  –  –

Pied-piping and agreement will account for Sells’ observation that the leftmost element of complex words displays certain type of head like behavior in Japanese and Korean (section 4). In section 5, other cases of agreement under pied-piping in Korean will be discussed.

3.4. Locality of Selection: Sportiche In various works, Sportiche (1998, 2000 class lectures, 2001) has argued for a strict enforcement of the Principle of Locality of Selection, which states that selection must be satisfied in a strictly local relation, i.e. head complement or Spec head. Apparent violations of locality of selection

abound as a result of movement, as the simple example in (11) shows:

(11) who did Mary see who The wh-phrase is selected by V, but is not in a local configuration with its selector at spell-out.

Local selection of course holds pre-movement, i.e. there is a stage in the derivation in which the selector and selectee are in a local configuration. Note that the wh-C also “selects” for a +wh phrase. This selection, commonly referred to as the EPP property, is locally satisfied after whmovement.

Strictly enforcing the principle of locality of selection has far-reaching implications for syntactic derivations, as the standard derivations violate it. For example, Sportiche argues that V selects for NP, not for DP. If correct the standard view that V merges with DP cannot be maintained.

Instead V must merge with NP first, in accordance with the Principle of Locality of Selection, and D attracts NP through movement, i.e. D’s selection for NP is locally satisfied after movement. In

other words, movement is driven by the Principle of Locality of Selection:

–  –  –

While Sportiche is led to the view in (12) on the basis of patterns of reconstruction (Sportiche 1999)5, the Principle of Locality of Selection provides the rationale for why that state of affairs must hold. This view converges with Kayne’s proposals that many traditional constituents are in fact not underlying constituents, but are remnants within a larger (remnant) constituent formed by attraction and movement (Kayne 2000, 2003). Section 4 will show how the Principle of Locality of Selection accounts for Sells’ cases of violations of locality of selection (section 4). It forces particular analyses, and makes further predictions, that can be tested empirically.

4. Korean and Japanese morphology: a syntactic view.

Sells presents two types of arguments against what he calls the syntactic view of morphology, i.e.

the view that “morphological structures and syntactic structures are governed by the same set of principles and constraints p. 320”. The first type is based on violations of locality of selection.

Rightmost inflectional affixes in general do not yield violations of locality of selection, and therefore do not behave as heads are expected to behave. The second type of argument shows that the leftmost element must be relevant for selection in certain cases, and thus shows unexpected head-like behavior. Somewhat unrelated to the above, Sells argues against universal hierarchies, and defends a templatic view of the morphology of Korean and Japanese.

4.1. Selection before movement Sells points out that there is a very general and systematic problem with locality of selection, and illustrates this with the following general example, where a delimiting particle kkaci ‘up to, even’ and the topic/focus marker nun intervene between the verb and the dative suffix selected by the

verb (gloss and translation as given in Sells):

–  –  –

As Sells points out, locality of selection is systematically violated in this type of example, a wellknown problem that arises with the incorporation of functional heads in syntactic structures (Grimshaw 1991). Sells argues that this problem would not occur if the inflectional particles were simply non-heads. Sportiche’s Principle of Locality of Selection provides a different answer for this problem: these particles are indeed heads, but at the point in the derivation where selection is locally satisfied, they have not yet been merged. They are merged at a later point in the derivation, and attract the focused constituent to their Spec (Kayne 1998), yielding the surface string.

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