Allocutive agreement in Korean under cyclic Agree

Sanghee Kim


Korean is a language known to lack agreement, but there is one salient agreement that happens: honorific agreement. A basic example is that whenever the subject is suffixed with an honorifying nominal form, -kkeyse, it agrees with a verbal suffix, -si. The condition for honorific agreement is that the subject must have an honorifying feature [+hon] and has to be [+human]. Nevertheless, I newly introduce a case where honorifying verbal suffix -si is used even when the subject does not have a [+hon, +human] feature. I suggest that this is a type of allocutive agreement (i.e., morphosyntactic agreement with the hearer). Based on Speech Act projection suggested by Haegeman & Hill (2013), I propose a structural representation that integrates discourse participants into syntactic representation. I also predict the phenomenon by adopting the framework of cyclic Agree proposed by Béjar & Rezac (2009).


allocutive (hearer/addressee) agreement; cyclic Agree; Speech Act projection; honorifics; Korean

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