A semantic study of discourse connectivity in Korean
Yang, Insun Kang
Copeland, James E.
Doctor of Philosophy
The focus of this paper is on coordinate conjunction markers in Korean. Most studies of clause conjunctions in Korean have been very formal syntactic studies. Formal syntactic approaches, however, fail to identify the subtle semantic qualities of conjunctions in discourse. This paper thus adopts a pragmatic/functional perspective, concluding that coordinating conjunctions carry not only grammatical information, but also necessarily semantic and pragmatic information. In other words, the present study discovers the underlying semantic differences among the coordinate conjunctions by examining their more overt syntactic behaviors based on insights from a functional approach. This study also investigates how spoken discourse is connected. A sentence outside of its context can be interpreted in a number of different ways depending on the inclination of the interpreter. Studies 'beyond the sentence' that is actual discourse, however, ultimately necessary for understanding language. In discourse, connectivity is one of the fundamental areas needing exploration, and my analysis of spoken Korean discourse is intended as a contribution to that study. The Korean discourse data itself is another contribution to the analysis of Korean discourse.