Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 169–200 | Cite as

Exhaustivity as Agreement: The Case of Korean Man ‘only’

  • Youngjoo Lee


The focus particle man‘only’ in Korean shows different scopal behavior depending upon its syntactic environment. This non-uniform scope pattern cannot be accounted for if the particle is a scope-bearing element. This paper argues that the particle man is not a scope-bearing element, but an agreement morpheme that indicates the presence of a null head ONLY. Under this proposal, the particle man does not carry the exhaustive meaning of only; the null head does. Therefore, it is the position of the ONLY head, not that of the particle, that determines the scopal relation with respect to other quantificational elements. This paper also claims that there is a strong correlation between syntax and morphology (Baker’s Mirror Principle). Thus the relative order among the particle, case marker, and postposition reflects the hierarchy of corresponding functional heads. This helps detect the position of the ONLY head. The proposed analysis accounts for the scope patterns without making special stipulations about man-phrases.


Strong Correlation Relative Order Functional Head Case Marker Quantificational Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Cognitive ScienceSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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