Pejoratives in Korean

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This paper analyzes the patterns of pejoration-marking in Korean. The speaker’s pejorative attitude is realized as diverse morpho-syntactic devices (Koo 2004). The most common devices of pejoration-marking fall under the following six categories classified according to the semantics of the source lexemes and constructions: (i) topographical periphery, (ii) insignificance, (iii) lack of sophistication, (iv) undesirable events/actions/postures, (v) feigned repetition, and (vi) lack of specification. Grammatical categories of these markers encompass prefixes, suffixes, particles, auxiliary verbs, and discourse markers. Of particular interest is the fact that their grammaticalization processes involved diverse conceptual motivations such as metaphor, discursive strategies such as the use of pseudo-quotatives, and socio-cultural motivation involving different uses of linguistic forms depending on the relative statuses of the discourse participants.


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