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On an Abbreviation Phenomenon in Korean

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In this paper, I will discuss a common syntactic phenomenon, which I propose to call an abbreviation rather than a deletion, and try to provide a straightforward description of the process involved. This phenomenon may have been noted by others, but as far as I know, no attempt has ever been made to explore various cases that exemplify the process in question and bring them together under a single rubric to show explicitly a uniform and systematic principle in operation in what appears to be totally unrelated aspects of grammar. Once we grasp. the true nature of this phenomenon, it is a relatively simple matter to characterize the mechanism involved and thus capture a significant generalization encompassing a wide variety of cases. The real advantage of my proposal is that it can entirely dispense with abstract and abstruse semantic arguments to account for an ambiguity resulting from an abbreviation. Since the homonimity of two different structures is due, in my analysis, to an abbreviation, there will be, before the application of an abbreviation rule, separate and distinct structures that relate directly to distinct semantic interpretations (or representations, whichever may suit the taste of readers) and allow us to account automatically for the alleged ambiguity. No longer is it necessary to postulate, solely on semantic grounds, distinct abstract structures which are mapped later on to a homopho-nous string often by transformational rules of a dubious nature. Now let us turn to some concrete examples.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1978

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