There’s more than “more animate”

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This article provides a semantic/cognitive account of the Organization/Document Construction (ODC) in Korean, with a locative nominal expressing an agent, and behaving like a subject. The article argues that metonymy provides little insight into the conceptualization involved in the ODC. Moreover, animacy, involved in the metonymy analysis, is too broad a concept to be of much use for an understanding of the ODC. The article invokes inferred animacy, including sentience, intentionality and responsibility, in order to account for the metonymic construal. This analysis also makes sense of the use of the locative, as opposed to nominative, particle in the ODC. The function of the locative particle in the ODC is to mark the agent’s responsibility as limited to where the action takes place.


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