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Subjectivity and Blending in Korea Conditional -taka

Jisup Hong (UCB)

Saturday, May 19th
Buchanan A hallway on the 2nd floor

Korean -taka, which is considered an “interruptive” or “transferentive” connective (Choi 1961, Lee 1993, Martin & Lee 1969), typically refers to a scenario in which the initial clause event has been discontinued in favor of the main clause event, as in (1). However, the connective also has a predictive conditional use, shown in (2), which is peculiar in requiring that both the protasis and apodosis be deemed undesirable by the speaker (Akatsuka & Sohn 1994). Thus, a predictive conditional with positive a↵ect cannot be expressed with -taka.

  1. chelswu-ka      hakkyo-ey      ka-taka      cip-ey      tolawa-ss-ta
    Chelswu-NOM  school-LOC     go-TAKA    home-LOC return-PST-DEC
    “Chelswu returned home in the middle of going to school.”
  2. wuntong     manhi     ha-taka      tachi-n-ta /  *kenkang   hayci-n-ta
    exercise     a.lot do-TAKA      injure-PRES-DEC   / healthy  become-PRES-DEC
    “If you exercise a lot, you’re going to get hurt / *you’re going to become healthy.”

This paper presents a cognitive-functional analysis of -taka that accounts for the negative a↵ect requirement on its predictive conditional use, as well as for a range of uses that express aspectual relations, such as temporal succession and temporal inclusion. The framework is a combination of Cognitive Grammar (Langacker 2002) and Mental Spaces Theory (Fauconnier 1985), and specifically adopts Sanders et al. (2009)’s Basic Communicative Space Network, which distinguishes between volitional and non-volitional content domains. The conceptual model for -taka includes, in addition to aspectual relational constraints, the volitional involvement of an explicit subject of consciousness (SoC). When the main clause subject is agentive, as in (1), the sentence receives a volitional content reading in which an explicit SoC initiates a switch to the other activity. When the main clause subject is non-agentive, as in (3), a non-volitional content reading obtains in which the main clause event happens to the subject in the context of the initial clause event.

3.   chelswu-ka     hakkyo-ey    ka-taka     nemeci-ess-ta
Chelswu-NOM  school         go-TAKA    fall-PST-DEC
“Chelswu fell while on his way to school.”

When the non-volitional content use of -taka occurs in a predictive future context, an alternative future space is constructed, in the same way that predictive contexts can trigger conditional construals for English and and or constructions (Dancygier & Sweetser 2005). This alternative future space is set up as a volitional content space in which the explicit SoC is blended with the implicit SoC of the speaker. As shown in Figure 1, in the alternative space, the blended agentive subject, with the speaker’s volitionality, chooses to abandon the initial clause activity to engage in something else, thereby averting the occurrence of the main clause event. Consequently, -taka cannot be used as a positive a↵ect predictive conditional, because doing so would trigger the building of an alternative space in which the subject, with the speaker’s volitionality, deliberately switches away from the activity that leads to a positive outcome in the non-alternative space.

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