On Caseless Fragments and Some Implications

Hee-Don Ahn1, Sungeun Cho2,
Author Information & Copyright
1Konkuk University
2Yeungnam University
Corresponding Author :

ⓒ Copyright 2017 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Feb 26, 2017 ; Revised: Aug 22, 2017 ; Accepted: Aug 28, 2017

Published Online: Aug 31, 2017


A great deal of attention has been paid to two types of fragments in Korean: case-marked and caseless fragments. We suggest that case-marked and caseless fragments all involve remnant movement to a focus position prior to TP deletion. We further claim that their clausal sources are different. We propose that caseless fragments are derived from reduced copula sentences unlike case-marked fragments. Under the analysis advanced here, parallel behaviors of two types of fragments are explained as a consequence of movement and TP deletion. Non-parallel behaviors, on the other hand, are explained as a consequence of different clausal sources. In this paper, we further observe similarities and differences between the two types of fragments concerning distribution of adverbials and idiomatic interpretation. Further implications of our proposal are discussed concerning several less-noticed phenomena related to polarity and tense mismatching which are not properly analyzed in the previous literature.

Keywords: case-marked fragment; caseless fragment; copula construction; TP deletion