Jaehong Shim (UChicago): “On the insubordination of the Korean nominalizer -(u)m”

Please join us once more on Friday at 15:30 in Cobb Hall 301! Our own Jaehong Shim will be presenting on his past and ongoing work with Korean.

On the insubordination of the Korean nominalizer -(u)m

This talk examines the phenomenon of insubordination in the Korean language, specifically with regard to the use of nominalized clauses as main clauses. While this is not a new observation, this talk provides a typological perspective on the phenomenon and argues that it can be analyzed as insubordination (Evans 2007). Insubordination, where a prototypical subordinate clausal category expands its use to function as a main clause, has been documented in many languages cross-linguistically.
One surprising aspect of this phenomenon is that the nominalized predicate was never used as a matrix clause in the colloquial language until the early 2000s. However, its insubordination has occurred so rapidly that it is now common to hear this form used as a matrix predicate among young Korean speakers. This talk discusses the current status of the phenomenon in Korean and suggests that it is a grammatical change that is still in progress. In order to understand the insubordination of Korean nominalized clauses, this talk will describe some cases of the insubordination in Tungusic languages, which are typologically similar to Korean, and compare them to the Korean case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *