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Lee, Hanjung & Kim, Nayoun: Non-Canonical Word Order and Subject-Object Asymmetry in Korean Case Ellipsis

The dispreference for subject case ellipsis in OSV sentences has been analyzed as resulting from a violation of a structural requirement on the position of bare subject NPs (Ahn and Cho 2006a, 2006b, 2007). In this study, we present evidence from an acceptability rating experiment demonstrating that OSV sentences containing a case-ellipsed subject exhibit acceptability patterns different from ungrammatical sentences violating a core syntactic principle on case assignment and that these sentences are judged acceptable when the subject refers to expected, predictable information in context. This evidence supports the conclusion that the dispreference for subject case ellipsis in OSV sentences is due to violations of probabilistic constraints that favor case marking for rare types of subjects and such violations can be remedied by non-syntactic information.


Maintained by Stefan Müller

Created: October 12, 2012
Last modified: May 19, 2014

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