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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2004, Vol. 35, No. 2, Pages 315-337
(doi: 10.1162/002438904323019101)
© 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Are There “Double Relative Clauses” in Korean?
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It has been claimed that Korean allows the relativization of another relative clause, deriving the ‘‘double relative clause.’’ The presence of ‘‘double relative clauses’’ has led some researchers to argue thatKorean relative clauses do not involve any operator movement, but instead involve a mechanism such as unselective binding (Sohn 1980, Y.-S. Kang 1986), where an operator binds variables in situ. In this squib, we argue that there is no true ‘‘double relative clause,’’ thus no real threat to the operator movement analysis for relative clauses in Korean. More specifically, we propose that ‘‘double relative clauses’’ are derived from double nominative constructions, through relativizing the first nominative NP that originates from an IP-adjoined position. Given our analysis, ‘‘double relative clauses’’ are not instances of island violations, and the operator movement analysis for relative clause formation in Korean can thus be maintained.