Coerced Relative Clauses in Korean

Jae-Il Yeom 1 ,
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1Hongik University & Leibniz-ZAS
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ⓒ 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: Jul 23, 2017 ; Revised: Aug 19, 2017 ; Accepted: Aug 21, 2017

Published Online: Aug 31, 2017


In this paper, I define a coerced relative clause (= CRC) as an adnominal clause which denotes a property of situations that is converted to a property of things when the clause combines with a head noun that denotes a property of things. The property of situations is always determined by the topmost clause of the CRC. This definition makes the range of CRCs clear, compared with previous analyses, but it makes the range wider than previous analyses of the constructions. In filling the missing links between a property of situations and a property of things, I adopt the Generative Lexicon (= GL) Theory. I show that the analysis of CRCs should be pragmatic and the ways of interpreting CRCs are diverse, on the one hand, but that it should be restricted systematically by the meaning specifications of expressions in the GL, on the other. I also show that the GL Theory, in the current form of the Theory, is not sufficient to fill in all missing meaning components necessary in interpreting CRCs. In this respect, we need a more flexible tool than the GL Theory, or extend the GL Theory so that additional meaning components can be included in the meaning specifications of expressions.

Keywords: coerced relative clause; type mismatch; Generative Lexicon; qualia structure