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ISSN : 1226-3206(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
Studies in Modern Grammar Vol.76 pp.149-172

한국어에는 주어가 없는가*

박 철 우

Isn't Subject a Grammatical Category in Korean?

Chulwoo Park


Even though it has long been stipulated thatKorean has subject as a grammatical category and i(/ga) is the subject markerin Korean sentences, there has been difficulties in identifying the subject inseveral types of sentences. Some of the types have eun(/neun) or the like insteadof i, others doesn't have any NPs which can be evaluated as subject at anyrate in their surface, and the others have more than one i-attached NPs. Hence,these have brought an argument that Korean doesn't have subject as agrammatical category. In this paper, I reconsider the notion of subject andthose arguments that Korean doesn't have subject, and argue that there doesexist subject as a grammatical category in Korean. In any language, the notionof subject is applied to the basic sentences of it according to Keenan(1976)and I regard that 'flow dimension'(Kibrik 2001) should be skimmed off fromthe discussion of the existence of subject as a grammatical category, becauseunderstanding the meaning of sentences including flow characteristics requiresunderstanding the meaning of sentences not including them. Furthermore,in my opinion, the existence of non-lexically-selected i as in multiplenominativeconstructions is the proof that i as a nominative case marker isdeveloped to subject marker when the condition of referentiality is met. Inaddition, I show some heuristics of identifying the subjects in Korean.