Stop Using That: Expressing Definiteness in Korean

Susie Kim, Hyung-Jo Yoon


Definiteness is visibly expressed by definite articles in English, but some languages such as Korean lack this morphological exponent. However, speakers of such languages still mark definiteness in different ways. In this proposal, we lay out a study that examines the (re)assembly required by L1-English L2-Korean learners where the formal feature of definiteness in the L1 has to be readjusted to indirect expressions in the L2. In particular, we propose to examine how L1-English learners distinctly interpret and produce the feature [definite] that has been coded overtly (demonstrative determiners) and covertly (word order change) in Korean. The participants’ use of demonstrative and word order will be examined by using elicited production tasks and forced-choice selection tasks. We predict that the participants will perform more accurately on the demonstratives. We further hope to gain insights into how much detection, mapping, and reassembly of the linguistic feature have progressed through the experiments.

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