Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0257-3784
  • E-ISSN: 2212-9731
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This paper investigates the role of merger and the typology of v in the syntax of Serial Verb Constructions (SVCs) in Korean. Some SVCs with a derivational suffix (e.g. a causative/passive v) in Korean display distinct behavior from the others. We argue that this is due to different syntactic structures among SVCs and that SVCs in Korean must be divided into two sub-types: H(igh)-SVC and L(ow)-SVC. Specifically, we propose that different types of SVCs result from different merger sites of the derivational v head. An H-SVC results when a causative or passive v head is merged to a verb before it is serialized with another verb; an L-SVC results when verbal serialization occurs prior to the merger of the derivational v head. We then turn our attention to a condition on verbal serialization, and propose that verbs can be serialized only when their v heads bear the specific identical property of introducing an external argument. We show that our matching condition coupled with the proposed dichotomy of SVCs has broader empirical coverage than the previous analyses. Theoretically, our study supports the claim that the morphology and the syntax are intertwined so that the attachment site of derivational suffixes may vary in syntax. Our argument also provides novel support for the finer-grained classification of v heads.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): adjunct predicate; external argument; serial verb constructions; v heads
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