On two kinds of negative concord items in Korean

Lyn Tieu, Jungmin Kang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


Many researchers assume that negation-sensitive elements like amwu-N-to and etten-N-to in Korean are negative polarity items (NPIs) (cf. Sells & Kim, 2006; Kim, 1999; Lee, 1995). Given previous characterizations of the differences between NPIs and negative concord items (NCIs) (cf. Watanabe, 2004), this paper demonstrates that such a binary characterization of negation-sensitive elements is inadequate to capture the full range of negation-sensitive elements in Korean. First, amwu-N-to and etten-N-to are not fully consistent with either NPI or NCI characterizations; second, they differ from each other in a number of respects. This paper proposes that there are (at least) two kinds of NCIs in Korean, and moreover places the root of the differences between the two within their morphosyntactic features. Moreover, upon reanalysis, these items are observed to fall very much in line with NCIs in languages such as Serbo-Croatian.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
EditorsRobert E. Santana-LaBarge
Place of PublicationSomerville, Massachusetts
PublisherCascadilla Proceedings Project
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781574734621
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventWest Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (31st : 2014) - Arizona
Duration: 7 Feb 20139 Feb 2013


ConferenceWest Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (31st : 2014)


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