This paper identifies factors that influence the choice of the third person reference, from the spectrum of zero to explicit forms, in Korean spoken discourse. Tokens of third person references were collected from retellings of a silent film (‘Modern Times’) and analyzed in terms of their position in the interlocutors’ discursive space, i.e. cognitive status, as defined by the ‘Givenness Hierarchy’ (Gundel, Hedberg & Zacharski, 1993). It is shown that Korean zero pronouns function identically to lexical pronouns of subject-prominent languages like English or Spanish. On the other hand, Korean indefinite determiners (e.g. etten) signal persistence of the referent while definite determiners (e.g. i, ku, ce) encode thematic importance and speaker perspective.
This study examines how Keenan and Comrie’s (1977) noun phrase accessibility hierarchy (NPAH) intersects with the typological characteristics of Korean in acquisition of relative clauses. Korean has two types of relative clause constructions: head-external and head-internal. The head-external relative has its head to the right of the relative clause, whereas the head-internal relative has its lexical head in the relative clause and is marked by the complementizer kes. In first language development, it has been observed the head-internal type emerges earlier than the head-external type. The current paper investigates how the use of the two types of relative clauses interacts with the NPAH, with a focus on subject (SU) and direct object (DO) relative clauses in L2 development of Korean. Oral production data were collected from 40 learners of Korean as a foreign language. The results showed that there was an advantage for SU over DO in the head-external relative clause, and head-external construction was preceded by headless and head-internal constructions. The results suggest that a head-external relative clause in Korean involves the syntactic mechanism of linking the head and the gap relation, whereas this may not be the case for a head-internal relative clause.
This paper examines the acquisition of Korean imperfective markers, the progressive -ko iss- and the resultative -a iss-, with a view to understanding how tense/aspect morphology expands beyond prototype associations with inherent aspects of the verbs. We hypothesized that -a iss- will develop later than -ko iss-, but that the development of -a iss- will precede or coincide with the expansion of -ko iss- marking for result state meaning. Cross-sectional data were collected from 120 L1 English learners of L2 Korean using a sentence interpretation task and a guided picture description task. The results support our hypothesized acquisition route of imperfective markers, establishing dynamic durativity as the prototypical meaning of the Korean imperfective -ko iss- and suggesting individual variance in expanding the prototype.
This study examines college-level Korean language learners’ language attitudes, motivational orientations, and self-efficacy as heritage language learners. Through surveys and interviews with 111 students, we found that 1) learners’ attitudes toward the status or utility of Korean in the wider sociopolitical context of the US was not favorable; however, in light of their personal contexts, they saw the learning of Korean to be a main signifier of their ethnic identity; (2) motivations to learn Korean were closely tied with affirmation of their ethnic identity and need to keep connected with their family and ethnic community, which remained constant across proficiency levels; (3) learners desired more formalized and innovative approaches to increase conversational fluency and cultural literacy; and (4) their motivation was significantly affected by low self-efficacy due to the sociopsychological burden the learners felt to have to acquire native-like proficiency in the language because it is the language that represents their identity to others. We conclude that the curricula for heritage learners need to expand sociocultural components to address students’ integrative orientation, and provide more specific and concrete learning goals to augment students’ self-efficacy.