Journal of Universal Language
Sejong University Language Research Institue

The Distributivity of Collections Terms in Korean

Eun-joo Kwak1
1Sejong University

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


The plural morpheme –tul in Korean has been discussed to have two readings: a pluralizer and a distributor. A less discussed usage of – tul is that it may be attached to a collection term to derive the mem- ber reading of a collection. However, not all terms that are consid- ered as collective nouns are subject to individualization by –tul. Thus, it must be discussed which nouns are individualized and what properties they share. This study presents four tests to define au- thentic collection terms and proposes that –tul has an additional reading of member specification function.

Keywords: distributivity; plural; collection; sum; group; member specification



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