Floating numeral classifiers in Korean: A thematic-structure perspective
The syntactic and semantic complexity of the so-called numeral classifier (NUM-CL) constructions in languages like Korean (Japanese and Chinese as well) has much challenged theoretical as well as computational approaches. Among several types of the NUM-CL constructions, the most complicated type includes the so-called FQ (floated numeral classifier/quantifier) construction where the NUM-CL ˋfloats' away from its antecedent. This paper, couched upon the non-derivational VP-modifier view, shows that in addition to the grammatical function of the host NP and types of the main predicate, properties of the intervening expression between the FQ and its host NP also play an important role in licensing the FQ's distribution. In particular, we show that the FQ introduces new information in discourse and as default sets off rheme in the thematic structure. This functional analysis can provide an answer to several puzzling contrasts we observe in the distribution of the FQ.