Monday, May 25, 2015

Nouns (명사)

Words and word classes

In Korean, there are 9 classes of words. Based on its grammatical function, each word is categorized into different classes, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives and so on. Korean has the following word classes. The first thing we are going to talk about is, NOUNS.

1. Nouns (명사)
2. Pronouns (대명사)
 - Personal Pronouns (인칭대명사)
 - Question Words (의문사) & Indefinite Pronouns (부정대명사)
3. Particle
 - Particles Part.1 (What are the Particles in Korean)
 - Particles Part.2 (Case Particles)
 - Particles Part.3 (Special Particles)
4. Numbers and counters
 - Numbers & Ordinals (숫자와 서수)
 - Counter Nouns (Numeral Classifier, 분류사)
5. Verbs
 - Irregular verbs and adjectives (불규칙동사와 형용사)
 - Auxiliary verbs I
 - Auxiliary verbs II
 - Auxiliary verbs III

6. Adjectives
7. Copula
 - Copula (Be & Be Not, 이다 & 아니다)
 - The Verb of Existence and Location (있다 & 없다)
8. Adverbs
 - Adverbs and adverbials (부사와 부사적 어구)
9. Prenouns (관형사)

In addition, Korean words in general fall into two categories: inflected words and uninflected words. Inflected words is inflected by grammatical features such as tense, number, aspect, and person. As you expected, nouns are uninflected words. Only verbs and adjectives are inflected words. Nouns in general refer to the part of speech that indicates a name of thing, quality, place, person, or action. Nouns often serve as the subject and/or object of verbs and/or adjectives.

Formation of nouns

There are three components that constitute Korean nouns: native Korean words; Sino-Korean words, and loan words.

* The three components of Korean word
Generally speaking, Korean nouns can be comprised of either a single morpheme or multiple morphemes.

* A single morpheme & multiple morphemes
Meanwhile, Korean has a group of special nouns that always appear before other nouns to modify or describe the following nouns. These nouns are called “prenouns”.
Some nouns are used only after the aforementioned prenouns. These special nouns can not be used by themselves but used always with the prenouns. These nouns are called “bound nouns”. Prenouns and bound nouns will be discussed in detail later.

* Prenouns & Bound nouns
Some characteristics of Korean nouns

Marking plurality

English is very specific with respect to number in that when there is more than one item, the item must be marked by the plural “s”. However, Korean nouns are not specific about the number in that it does not have the grammatical category of number.
In English, "s" must be attached after a noun when it is plural. However, in Korean, though we attach "들" after a noun, it depends on our choice. Even without "들", it can be plural.

* Plural form of Korean
Position of nouns

Korean nouns appear in a sentence in one of the following ways:

(1) by itself
(2) before particle
(3) before another noun
(4) before copula
(5) after adjective

For instance, consider the following sentence:

* Position of nouns
Noun usage with verbs

People tend to use nouns with certain verbs. For instance, in English, the word “crime” is collocated with the verb “commit,” and “operation” is collocated with the verb “perform.” In the same principle, Korean nouns tend to collocate with certain verbs. However, in Korean, usage with verbs is little bit difference.

Consider the following examples:

* Noun usage with verbs
* Click to read a related post
Grammar for Beginners

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