Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Sam Al Khatib

Committee Members

Jason Kandybowicz

Jon Nissenbaum

Subject Categories

Semantics and Pragmatics | Syntax


Nominal particles, Case marker, i/ka, Genericity, Existentiality, The Mapping Hypothesis


In this dissertation, I investigate the structural positions of i/ka-marked DPs and un/nun-marked DPs in the light of Kratzer (1988; 1995) and Diesing (1990; 1992). In Korean, unlike German (and English in part), vP-external subjects and vP-internal subjects are not distinguishable at the surface. However, by adopting Kratzer (1988; 1995) and Diesing (1990; 1992), we are able to distinguish between vP-external DPs and vP-internal DPs in Korean.

According to Kratzer and Diesing, syntactic position of a DP has affect in the interpretation of the DP itself, as well as the interpretation of the sentence that contains the DP; only DPs interpreted within the vP will be given the existential reading, and only sentences with vP-external elements will be allowed the generic reading. That bare DPs and complex DPs marked by i/ka(L) are given the existential reading suggests that i/ka(L)-marked DPs are located within the vP. On the other hand, that simplest intransitive sentences with i/ka(H)-marked DP subjects are allowed the generic reading suggests that the DPs are interpreted outside of the vP.

Applying the same diagnostics to un/nun-marked DPs, that sentences with un/nun-marked subjects are allowed the generic reading suggests that the DPs are interpreted outside of the vP. The asymmetry in the linear word order confirms that un/nun-marked DPs are located above i/ka(H)-marked DPs (outside of the vP).



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