Perception-production asymmetry for Korean double accusative ditransitives

Sang Hee Park, Eunkyung Yi

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3 Scopus citations


Park, Sang-Hee and Eunkyung Yi. 2021. Perception-production asymmetry for Korean double accusative ditransitives. Linguistic Research 38(1): 27-52. Ditransitive constructions, expressing an agent, a recipient and a theme, are syntactically realized in various structures within and across languages (Malchukov et al. 2010). Korean is known to have two ditransitive constructions that vary in case marking on the recipient argument, i.e., the canonical ditransitive construction Jisu-kaNOMMina-eykeyDACchayk-ulACCcwu-essPAST-taDECLand the double accusative construction Jisu-kaNOMMina-lulACCchayk-ulACCcwu-essPAST-taDECL‘Jisu gave Mina a book.’ They are often used in the study of crosslinguistic comparison as counterparts of the English dative alternation. Previous research, however, reported huge imbalance between the two Korean variants in their frequencies of occurrence and speakers’ acceptability of the constructions. In this context, we conducted two experimental studies that investigate the perception and production of the constructions, respectively. Study 1 examined the factors that may influence the acceptability of the constructions, i.e., verb type and -cwu benefactive morpheme. Study 2 investigated whether the double accusative ditransitive construction is a valid construction ever produced by Korean speakers, using sentence completion experiment. The results showed that Korean speakers judge the double accusative ditransitives as highly unacceptable but they do not completely avoid them in sentence completions. We discussed the results in the context of theoretical and psycholinguistic perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-52
Number of pages26
JournalLinguistic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

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  • Korean
  • acceptability judgment
  • case-marking
  • dative alternation
  • ditransitive
  • double accusative construction
  • sentence completion


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