Reference-point and blending in Korean non-nominative subject constructions

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This article examines three types of Korean constructions: case stacking and two types of non-nominative subject constructions. Relying on an independently established descriptive construct known as reference-point, I argue that the complex forms of these constructions reflect their meanings and functions. I further argue that the reference-point-based analysis of these constructions offers a unified account of a substantial range of phenomena when it is combined with the notion of conceptual and constructional blending. In providing technical analyses of the phenomena, I adopt the Cognitive Grammar (CG) framework. To justify the choice of the theoretical framework of my analysis, I examine the crucial role of spatial semantics in the said constructions, which is viewed as the primary factor underlying the distribution of case marking in CG. I then demonstrate that my CG-based analysis yields a natural explanation of the constructions both intuitively and theoretically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-751
Number of pages35
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© John Benjamins Publishing Company.


  • Blending
  • Cognitive Grammar (CG)
  • Korean
  • Non-nominative subject
  • Reference-point


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