The Pseudo-resultative [V-ko (iss-)] Construction in Korean

Hee-Rahk Chae 1 ,
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1Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
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ⓒ Copyright 2018 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 22, 2018 ; Revised: Jul 31, 2018 ; Accepted: Jul 31, 2018

Published Online: Aug 31, 2018


Korean [… V-ko iss-] expressions are ambiguous between a progressive meaning (P-reading) and a resultative meaning (R-reading). Most previous analyses assume that there is only one construction involved. Only a few previous analyses assume that there are two: the progressive construction, which we will call the P(-reading) construction, and the resultative construction. Under this latter assumption, we argue that the resultative construction has to be further divided into two types. That is, we will show that the seeming resultative [… V-ko iss-] expressions are realizations of two different constructions: the (real) R(-reading) construction and the p(seudo)-R(-reading) construction. Although, unlike the P construction, both of them are modifier-modified constructions, they have different properties. The major source of differences is that of the verbs in the [… V] position: while the verbs in the R construction can indicate a present state with their past tense form, those in the p-R construction have a present state meaning inherently. The p-R construction comprises all those cases in which negative verbal expressions appear in the [… V] position. In addition, this construction is not subject to the constraints operating on the R construction. We will see that the present approach provides a systematic analysis and covers a wider range of data than previous approaches.

Keywords: [V-ko iss-] in Korean; structural ambiguity; resultative construction; modifier-modified construction; pseudo-resultative construction; negative verbal expressions