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ISSN : 1226-3206(Print)
Studies in Modern Grammar Vol.105 pp.39-60

Two Types of KES in Korean Pseudo-Clefts

Jeonghee Byun**
* I am very grateful to two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments. All remaining errors are my own.
** Lecturer, Kyungpook National University


This paper is aimed to investigate the structure of Korean pseudo-cleft constructions with the bound noun kes in subject position, by examining the asymmetry between two kess in the subject position of pseudo-clefts and in the pre-copula position. The paper argues that the former can represent a human entity as well as non-human elements because it is universal. It denotes a set of presuppositionality, and thus, it has to raise to SpecTopicP through the predicational inversion. As a result, it precedes the foci in specificational constructions. The other is specific, denoting only a non-human material thing. Thus they don’t appear in specificational reading but in predicational, which requires agreement between the subject and the complement. Conclusively, Korean has two different types of kes in pseudo-cleft constructions.