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Korean Speakers' Sensitivity to Aspectual Shift in Resultatives with Derived Accomplishments in English*

 

 

Eunjeong Oh (Sangmyung University)

 

Oh, Eunjeong. 2016. Korean Speakers' Sensitivity to Aspectual Shift in Resultatives with Derived Accomplishments in English. English Language and Linguistics 22.2, 81-106. Resultatives in English must be predicated of the culmination event, and as such, they are typically added to lexical accomplishments for which the culmination is lexically specified (e.g., John painted the house red). Interestingly, they are added to activity verbs lacking a culmination. For such cases, resultative predication triggers an aspectual shift from activity to accomplishment reading through imposing a culmination to these activity verbs (e.g., John hammered the metal flat; John sang the baby asleep). In this study, this type of resultative is called a derived resultative as opposed to a typical lexical resultative. Derived resultatives in Korean, in particular ones with intransitive activities, differ from their English counterparts to the extent that they are bi-clausal, have nominative Case-marked resultative subjects, and do not entail the result state. Given this background, the aim of this study was to examine whether Korean speakers are able to acquire derived resultatives in English, showing their sensitivity to aspectual shift therein. A further aim of the study was to explore sources that Korean speakers draw on in such an acquisition process. The results showed that Korean speakers do know derived resultatives in English and the resultant state interpretation associated with the constructions. This result indicates that they detected the aspectual shift, linking telic accomplishment reading to originally atelic activity verbs. We have argued that L1 transfer, prototypicality, and structural congruence contribute to such a pattern. This study has also explored the implication of the syntactic bootstrapping hypothesis in relation to the role of structural congruence.

 

Key words: resultative constructions, derived accomplishments, aspectual shift, L1 transfer, structural congruence

 

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