Lanaguage Research
Language Education Institute, Seoul National University

현대국어 해라체 의문형 어미 ‘-느냐/으냐, -니’의 변화

Pil-Jae Yoo1,
1University of Ulsan
Corresponding Author :

ⓒ 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: Sep 30, 2017 ; Revised: Feb 01, 2018 ; Accepted: Feb 04, 2018

Published Online: Apr 30, 2018


There are various ways of ending the interrogative forms of contemporary Korean. In the plain style, there is the interrogative ending -nunya, with a verb stem and prefinal ending -ess- or -keyss-. With an adjective, -(u)nya is used. If the adjective ends in a vowel, -nya is attached, but if it ends in a consonant, -unya is attached. By removing nu, the ending -nunya is changed to -nya. This change is an ongoing process, and is not completed in the embedded sentence. In contrast, its loss in the final sentence almost completes the process. Furthermore, the suffix -(u)nya, always in the process of modification, changes to -nya in the final sentence when the adjective ends in a consonant. This process is an analogical leveling. The other interrogative ending -ni in the plain style also takes on the different form of -(u)ni when the adjective ends in a consonant. The alternation of ‘-ni~-uni’ is a result of the analogical extension ending ‘-nya~-unya’.

Keywords: contemporary Korean; interrogative form; ending -nunya/unya; ending -ni~-uni; analogy