Adnominal Adjectival Classes in Korean

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter introduces major adnominal adjectival classes in Korean, focusing on their basic morpho-syntactic and semantic properties. In so doing, we take the first step in describing how Korean encodes various types of adnominal meaning in comparison to more well-studied languages like English and Spanish. It will be shown that the major adnominal adjectival classes in Korean form a hierarchy in terms of their relative degree of morpho-syntactic complexity and this goes hand in hand with how nominal or verbal they are. In addition, full-fledged RCs are shown to play a major role in “compensating for” the absence of a prototypical Adjective class in Korean. The chapter closes by discussing how the semantic behavior of Korean adjectival classes uncovered here provides empirical support for Partee’s (2009a, b) claim that all “normal” adjectives are subsective and there is something truly special about modal adjectives both syntactically and semantically.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages49
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameStudies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory
ISSN (Print)0924-4670
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0358


  • Adjectival classes
  • Intersective
  • Modal
  • Privative
  • Relative clauses
  • Subsective


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