This paper investigates the syntax and semantics of Korean degree achievements (DAs) in comparison to English DAs. It is known that Korean DAs can appear with an overt standard of comparison (SoC), unlike English DAs (cf. Zubizarreta and Oh 2007). This paper shows that this type of DA (with an overt SoC) does not require any intrinsic change within the main subject. Instead, there is a relative change between the main subject and the subject of comparison. Therefore, the single comparison account (i.e., direct comparison between two stages of the subject) proposed by previous accounts cannot fully account for the Korean data (Kennedy and Levin 2008, Deo et al. 2013). To resolve this problem, this paper proposes a resultative analysis for the syntax and semantics of DAs in Korean. This analysis can account for i) "change within-individual" meaning vs. "change across-individuals" meaning, depending on the presence of an overt SoC and ii) various (a)telicity of DAs, depending on the choice of adjectival root. In addition, the cross-linguistic difference in the availability of an overt SoC in DAs is reduced to a morphological difference that constrains the choice of secondary predicate in resultative constructions.
Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin
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