Date of Completion
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
This thesis explores the possibility that article-less languages may lack Tense Phrase (TP) projection (cf. Bošković 2012), focusing on Korean. I argue that Korean lacks TP and that the absence of TP in Korean results in a non-phasal Complementizer Phrase (CP) in Korean. I also provide an account of temporal interpretation in Korean that does not involve TP. In Chapter 2 I adopt Chomsky’s (2008) C-T association and Takahashi’s (2011) case-valuation approach to phase heads (a combination in which the lack of TP voids the phasehood of CP), and argue that CP/vP are not phases in Korean (although they are phases in English), based on several contrasts between Korean and English with respect to successive-cyclic movement which involve binding ambiguities, Numeral Quantifier floating, and A-movement out of CP. I also discuss certain contrasts between Korean and Japanese involving binding ambiguities and the interpretation of only. I show that these contrasts are accounted for if vP (but not CP) is a phase in Japanese. In Chapter 3 I discuss how temporal interpretation is determined in the absence of TP in Korean. I show that traditional tense markers -ess (past tense marker) and -nun (present tense marker) do not in fact correspond to tense morphology; specifically, I show that -ess is an overt perfect aspect marker, based on contrasts between its aspectual behavior and that of the past tense morpheme in English (cf. Chung 2005). On the basis of different behavior of -ess and -nun in coordinations, I argue that -nun is the PF realization of a null imperfective aspect head which raises to MoodP. I further argue that temporal interpretation in Korean is determined by temporal adverbials, aspect, and prospective modals, similarly to Chinese (cf. Lin 2005); however, I argue that unlike Chinese, aspectual specification (i.e. AspP) is obligatory in Korean. In Chapter 4, I discuss the structure of the Traditional Noun Phrase (TNP) in Korean, under a no-DP analysis (cf. Bošković 2008, 2012), with emphasis on the structure of classifier constructions. I propose two different structures for pre- and post-nominal ClPs, based on semantic differences involving the scope of focus.
Kang, Jungmin, "On the Absence of TP and its Consequences: Evidence from Korean" (2014). Doctoral Dissertations. 512.