Korean Language WORDS

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arbitrary relationship between words and their meanings
vocabulary of language
reflection of historical, cultural and geographical context
linguistic contexts
difference between
(1) 나-는 냉수-를 마시-었-다.
I cold water drink
(2) *나-는 냉수-로 빨래-를 하-었-다.
I cold water with washing

– the term 냉수 is only used for ‘drinking’

categorization of words
1. linguistic context in which they appear
2. grammatical element hosted by them
3. their meanings

( nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, numerals, determiners and particles )

role-marking particles
아이-가, 아이-를, 아이-도
kid-Nom -Acc -also
preceded by modifying words/expressions
저 아이, 예쁜 아이, …
that kid pretty kid
nouns normally not marked for number
Plural marking when it involves second-person pronouns (들)
no grammatical gender
bound or defective nouns (cant exist without being modified)
(i) 것’thing’, 곳’place’ 때’time’

이것, 그것, 저것
이곳, 그곳, 저곳

(ii) classifiers or counters

책 두 권, 종이 열 장
book two volume paper ten sheet

first person pronouns
(i) neutral vs. humble
나 vs. 저 ‘I’
우리 vs. 저희 ‘we’

(ii) plural forms for persons or things close to the speaker:
우리 엄마 ‘our mom’
우리 남편 ‘our husband’
우리 학교 ‘our school’

second person pronouns
avoided in favour of kin terms/titles

이 차-가 선생님-의 차-인가요?
this car-Nom teacher-Gen car-Q
‘Is this your car?’

examples : 아저씨 ‘uncle’, 아주머니/아줌마 ‘aunt’, 할아버지 ‘grandfather’, 할머니 ‘grandmother’

third person pronouns
completely avoided, instead personal names, kin terms and titles are used
verbs and adjectives
very similar in terms of grammatical behaviour

they both host more/less same set of grammatical endings (tense, honorific, speech style and sentence type)

먹-었-다 ‘eat-Past-Plain.S’
예쁘-었-다 ‘pretty-Past-Plain.S’

사-시-었-니 ‘buy-Hon-Past-Plain.Q’
행복하-시-었-니 ‘happy-Hon-Past-Plain.Q’

cannot be used to modify nouns w/o special endings

웃-는 아이 ‘a child who is laughing’
예쁘-ㄴ 아이 ‘a pretty child’

Many adjectives are built directly on verbs.
건강-하다 ‘healthy’: 건강 ‘health’, 하다 ‘do’
값-있다 ‘valuable’: 값 ‘value’, 있다 ‘exist’
값-없다 ‘valueless’: 값 ‘value’, 없다 ‘not exist’
복-되다 ‘lucky’: 복 ‘luck’, 되다 ‘become’

The copular is not used with an adjective.
그 아이-가 예쁘-다.
that child-Nom pretty-Plain.S
‘The child is pretty.’

cf. 그 아이-가 학생-이-다.
that child-Nom student-Cop-Plain.S
‘The child is a student.’

adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs
manner adverbs: 빨리 ‘quickly’
time and place adverbs: 지금 ‘now’, 멀리 ‘far away’ degree adverbs: 아주 ‘very’, 조금 ‘little’
Adverbs typically precede what they modify. Manner, time and place adverbs can be optionally moved to elsewhere, but degree adverbs (little, much) are always placed immediately before what they modify.
그 아이-가 밥-을 빨리 먹는다.
that child-Nom meal-Acc quickly eat

or 빨리 그 아이-가 밥-을 먹는다.
그 아이-가 빨리 밥-을 먹는다.

onomatopoeic or mimetic expressions
아장아장, 종알종알, 부글부글

the contrast in vowel quality
ㅏ, ㅗ vs. ㅓ, ㅜ (positive vs. negative)
아장아장 vs. 어정어정
종알종알 vs. 중얼중얼

lax vs. aspirated or tensed consonants
종알종알 vs. 쫑알쫑알
감감 vs. 캄캄 vs. 깜깜

이 ‘this’, 그 ‘that’, 저 ‘that (over there)’
various role marking particles
-이/-가, -을/-를, -에게, -에서, …

그 아이-가 공원-에서 친구-에게 공-을 던졌다.
that kid park friend ball threw

origins of korean words
– native words: 45%
– Sino-Korean words: 52%

– Sino-Korean words should be distinguished from loanwords.
cf. English words based on Latin or Greek elements

– borrowings from Japanese

– 90% of 20,000 loanwords are of English stock.

three types of sino-korean words
a. borrowed directly from Chinese sources
b. borrowed from Sino-Japanese
c. coined in Korea
sino-korean words
consist of two Chinese characters.
Korean is more like Japanese than Chinese
it prefers borrowing words from other languages to coining words on the basis of existing words.
English loanwords are usually not identical to their source words in English.
a. Their pronunciation is generally modified.
b. They are borrowed in highly limited contexts.
c. Their meaning sometimes shifts.
d. English words tend to be shortened.
e. New words are created.
f. English phrases are abbreviated unexpectedly.
word formation
– borrowing

– compounding
물 ‘water’ + 개 ‘dog’ = 물개 ‘seal’
개 ‘dog’ + 밥 ‘meal’ = 개밥 ‘dog food’
백미러 ‘rear-view mirror’
아이쇼핑 ‘window-shopping’

– derivation: adding an affix to pre-existing words
맨- ‘bare’ + 손 ‘hand’ = 맨손 ‘bare hands’
맨- ‘bare’ + 발 ‘foot’ = 맨발 ‘bare foot’

– abbreviation
노사: 노동자 사용자 ’employee and employer’
입시: 입학 시험 ‘university entrance examination’

Meaning is differently divided up in different languages : different lexical fields between Korean and English.
– wear vs. 입다, 쓰다, 끼다, 차다, 매다, 신다, 달다

– ‘to eat’ for drinks or medicine as well as solid food

Deference can be expressed lexically as well as grammatically. (respect and self-deprecation)
말 vs. 말씀 ‘words’
자다 vs. 주무시다 ‘to sleep’
보다 vs. 뵙다 ‘to see (a person)’
Categories: Korean