Nominal and clausal grounding of Korean verbal nouns

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This article examines how Korean verbal nouns are construed as either a noun or a verb in a given context. By adopting Langacker's Cognitive Grammar (CG) and its technical apparatus, I argue that the two types of case patterns arise due to different construals of the same content. More specifically, when a verbal noun is construed as a thing (noun), it needs to be nominally grounded to be a full nominal. The genitive-case pattern in verbal noun constructions is motivated by the need for this grounding. By contrast, when the same verbal noun is construed as a process (verb), it needs to be clausally grounded by tense to be a full clause. For the purpose of grounding, the schematic verb ha(y)- 'do' must combine with verbal nouns to lend its processual characteristic to them, since verbal nouns profile a nonprocessual complex relationship. The verbal case pattern arises due to this processual nature of the temporalized verbal nouns. I further argue that a verbal noun in a double accusative construction is indirectly grounded by an implicitly invoked reference point, which is realized as an accusative- marked nominal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1361-1995
Number of pages635
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Clausal grounding
  • Cognitive Grammar (CG)
  • Korean
  • Nominal grounding
  • Processual relationship
  • Temporalization
  • Verbal noun


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