Resultatives in Korean Revisited: Complementation versus Adjunction

  • Minjeong Son CASTL, University of Tromsø
Keywords: Korean resultatives, small clause, unselected object resultatives, selected object resultatives, ECM, secondary predicates, double nominative


Korean resultatives are divided into two types depending on whether the subject of a resultative secondary predicate is assigned accusative case or nominative case. The former is comparable to selected object resultatives (e.g., Mary wipe the table clean), and the latter to unselected object resultatives (e.g., John screamed himself hoarse) in English. Korean resultatives have received a great deal of attention in the literature due to different case markings on the subject of a secondary predicate. However, there has been no agreement regarding whether Korean resultatives should be analyzed as small clause complements, similar to English, or adjunct phrases. Some argue that both resultative types are small clause complements (e.g., Kim 1999, Chang and Kim 2001), but some argue that only the selected object resultatives are true small clause type resultatives while the unselected object resultatives are VP adjuncts (e.g., Song 2005, Yeo 2006). A recent proposal by Shim and den Dikken (2007), however, suggests that both types should be analyzed as TP adjuncts. This paper defends the second position, a split analysis for the two types of resultatives: a complementation analysis for selected object resultatives, and an adjunction analysis for unselected object resultatives. Supporting evidence for the split analysis is provided by a few syntactic and semantic facts that lead to the conclusion that the two resultatives must be structurally distinguished from one another in terms of their complementhood/adjuncthood.