Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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In this paper, we examine the adjectives that seem to require two arguments in symmetric relation. To syntactically define these elements, we observed whether an adjective can appear in the following transformational relation or not: N0 N1-wa Adj = N1 N0-wa Adj. Those that allow this relation are classified in the class AWS and named Symmetric Adjectives. They constitute a semantically and syntactically homogeneous class. Two types of problematical structutures were considered: one is the construction containing a complement in -ei, replaceable by a symmetric complement in -wa; the other is the construction with complement in -wa which is not a symmetric one. Besides, we came across one more complicated structure concerning symmetric construction, that is, N0 N1-wa N2-i Adj. However, it cannot be considered as the basic structure for symmetric adjectives, since N2-i is either a restructured element or a symmetric noun: in the first case, this structure is a derived one; in the second case, it is this noun that requires a symmetric complement Nj-wa, and not the adjective. Therefore, this structure cannot characterize symmetric adjectives. In this way, we obtained 120 adjectives for the class AWS among 5300 Korean simple adjectives. The result of our study is represented in the form of a matrix in the Appendix. More detailed studies on symmetric verbs and nouns are also required as well as more advanced analyses about semantic and logic constraints in the distribution of arguments.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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