On the rise and fall of Korean nominalizers

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This paper addresses the origin and development of the system of Korean nominalizers from Old to Present-day Korean, paying special attention to their sources, the semantic changes they underwent over time, the competition between various nominalizers for the same functional domain, and the subsequent specialization of some of the forms. The study shows that, in order to avoid functional overlaps, certain nominalizers have become constrained to appear in particular contexts (e.g. -<i>ki </i>and -<i>ci</i>, restricted to affirmative and negative constructions respectively) or to express different levels of illocutionary force (e.g. -<i>m</i>, -<i>ki</i>, -<i>ci </i>and -<i>kes </i>when used as sentential end-markers). The paper also shows how certain nominalizers which overlapped functionally lost their original nominalizing function and acquired new uses in related functional spaces (e.g. the adnominalizers -<i>n </i>and -<i>l</i>, derived from old nominalizers).


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