Positively bitter and negatively sweet? Conventional implicatures and compatibility condition of emotive taste terms in Korean vs. English

Suwon Yoon

Abstract

The goal of this study is to propose a pragmatic analysis of what we call Emotive Taste Terms (ETTs) in Korean, compared to English. What makes Korean taste adjectives special is its multidimensional meaning: In descriptive dimension, (i) the literal meaning concerns the taste; or (ii) it can be extended toward the situation, yielding a figurative meaning. In expressive dimension, (iii) the choice of particular derivation form reflects the speaker’s positive or negative emotional attitude; and (iv) another potential expressive meaning concerns honorification, thought it is not part of the meaning of ETTs. We thus propose that ETTs are a novel subcase of expressive elements, triggering Conventional Implicature. We show how the analysis of ETTs as a CI allows us to successfully derive subtle connotational differences amongst numerous variants. Finally, we show how the co-occurrence pattern of multiple expressives, ETTs and other expressives, within the sentence can be captured by Compatibility Condition Model.

Keywords:
Publication history
Table of contents

1.Introduction

Most prior research on taste adjectives has focused on how each taste term is characterized in terms of semantic features and located at the word field within the traditional framework of Structural Semantics (à la Berlin and Kay 1969Berlin, Brent and Paul Kay 1969Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. Berkeley, University of California Press.Google Scholar), mainly based on three criteria:11. Ginatulin (1972)Ginatulin, Laman M. 1972 “The Semantics of Words and Sense Organs.” Foreign Philology, 1. Ama-Ata.Google Scholar, for instance, considers the interconnection and stipulation of sensitive cognition and abstract thinking as two stages of cognition. (i) types of taste such as bitter, sour, salty, sweet and umami (‘savory’); (ii) intensity of taste; and (iii) hedonic scale about various tastes that distinguish good or bad taste. In cognitive science, some research has been conducted to answer the question of how the sensory process transfers to the cognitive process within the sensory or hedonic magnitude, and how the degree of taste relates to the attitude or mental status: in Korean, for instance, Kim (2009)Kim, Hae-Mi 2009A Study on the Semantic Schema and Extension Principle of Taste Adjectives. MA thesis. Chonbuk National University.Google Scholar proposes that experience through somatization plays an important role in the process of semantic extension of taste adjectives (cf. Yoon 2012Yoon, Hyejoon 2012 “A Comparative Study on the Meaning Shift and Meaning Extension of Taste-terms, Focused on Sweet-taste Adjectives in Korean, German and English.” Language Information 15: 115–132.Google Scholar; Jeong 2012Jeong, Su-Jin 2012 “A Cognitive Analysis of the Meaning Extension of Sensual Nouns in Korean.” Hanmincokemwunhak 60: 271–290.Google Scholar).

Since taste is one of the five central senses that trigger the body’s reaction to foreign stimuli, it is naturally expected for taste adjectives to be simultaneously reflective of other senses including one’s feeling toward the perceived taste. In exploring the connotation shifts in numerous variants of what we term emotive taste terms (ETTs, henceforth) in Korean, we first show how precisely the speaker’s emotional attitude toward the perceived taste can be systematically carried by the morpho-phonological derivation. The focus of the current study, however, concerns the emotional attitude reflected in the variants of taste terms, investigating three basic taste terms in the native lexicon: tal-ta ‘sweet’, ssu-ta ‘bitter’, and cca-ta ‘salty’. Notice that these native taste terms are morphologically inflected with -ta ‘Decl’, and the speaker’s emotional attitude can be reflected in them.

One important theoretical consequence of the current analysis is then that the meaning of taste terms can be analyzed as at least three dimensional, which can be accompanied by still another kind of expressive dimension, i.e. honorification dimension: First, with respect to the semantic aspect, the indication of taste is conveyed by the base taste term (in terms of both quantity and quality of taste in Kennedy and McNally 2010’sKennedy, Christopher and Louise McNally 2010 “Taste, Context and Compositionality.” Synthese 174 (1): 79–98. CrossrefGoogle Scholar sense for color terms); second, regarding another semantic aspect, certain taste terms have undergone semantic extension, the result of which is that they exhibit a figurative meaning (e.g. ‘bitter taste’ is extended to ‘bitter, unsatisfactory feeling toward the situation’); furthermore, as for the pragmatic aspect, the emotional attitude of the speaker is reflected in the choice of derivational morpho-phonology for native taste terms (cf. experimental evidence on the attitude reflected in Korean taste terms is discussed in Kim 2014). Note that the speaker’s emotional attitude can be directed toward either the literal meaning on the taste itself or toward the figurative meaning on the situation, but, we assume, both literal and figurative meanings operate in the descriptive at-issue dimension, while the emotional attitude functions in emotive expressive dimension. We will also discuss the interaction of ETTs with honorific markers, which, we argue, exists in a separate, honorific expressive dimension.

The discussion proceeds as follows. In Section 2, we introduce versatile meaning differences in variants of ETTs in Korean, and, in Section 2.4, we show how such derivations are systematically achieved via phonological and morphological alternations. In Section 3, we propose the meaning of emotive taste terms as Conventional Implicature (CI, à la Potts): in Section 3.1, we show how the emotional attitude reflected in the taste term exists in another dimension, i.e. at expressive level; and in Section 3.2, we suggest an appropriate emotional index for each taste term with respect to strength and polarity of the attitude. In Section 4, we show how the co-occurrence pattern of multiple expressives, ETTs and other expressives within the sentence, can be predicted by the Compatibility Condition Model (CCM) suggested by Yoon (2015) 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar. Section 5 concludes the discussion.

2.The landscape of taste adjectives in Korean

2.1Variants of sweet taste

In Korean, a remarkable number of morpho-phonological variants are available for conveying a single taste ‘sweet’, for instance, with extremely subtle differences in terms of the gradience of: (i) a given taste (literal meaning); (ii) a given situation (extended, figurative meaning); and (iii) even a speaker’s emotional attitude associated with either the taste or the situation (expressive meaning). The following list illustrates 13 frequently used variants of ‘sweet’, which is not an exhaustive list:22.Note that only variants with emotional attitudes (i.e. ETTs) are bold-faced in the list, in which ‘pos.att’ denotes ‘positive attitude; ‘neg.att’ denotes ‘negative attitude’; neutral attitude is not marked. The definition for each variant here is a literal translation of its dictionary definition (Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008), while its emotional attitude is posited based on the author’s intuition (who is a native speaker of Korean) corroborated by empirical distributional facts such as compatibility with other expressives.

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13 variants of tal-ta ‘sweet’

  1. tal-ta ‘sweet’

  2. tal-tal-hata ‘sweet like honey or sugar, savory sweet.pos.att’

  3. ta-ti-tal-ta ‘extremely sweet; extremely considerate and affectionate.pos.att’

  4. tal-khom-ssapssal-hata ‘bitter sweet.pos.att’

  5. tal-khom-ssupssul-hata ‘bitter sweet.neg.att’

  6. tal-khom-saykhum-hata ‘savory sweet and slightly sour’

  7. tal-ccakcikun-hata ‘somewhat savory sweetish in the weak sense.pos.att; content and pleased.pos.att’

  8. tal-chakcikun-hata ‘somewhat savory sweetish in the strong sense.pos.att; content and pleased.pos.att’

  9. tal-kom-hata ‘savory sweet in the weak sense’

  10. tal-khom-hata ‘savory sweet in the strong sense.pos.att; intriguingly charming or ingratiating.pos.att; comfortable and cozy.pos.att’

  11. tal-khum-hata ‘very savory sweet’

  12. tul-khum-hata ‘somewhat sweet in unsavory/unpleasant way.neg.att’

  13. tul-ccekcikun-hata ‘slightly sweet in unsavory/unpleasant way.neg.att’

First, in the literal dimension of meaning, most variants of ‘sweet’ convey fine-grained distinction with respect to the intensity of the taste as in (iii) ta-ti-tal-ta ‘extremely sweet’, (xi) tal-khum-hata ‘very savory sweet’. Furthermore, there are some variants of ‘sweet’ for conveying mixture of tastes such as (iv) tal-khom-ssapssal-hata ‘bitter sweet.pos.att’ and (vi) tal-khom-saykhum-hata ‘savory sweet and slightly sour’.

Second, what’s also interesting in these examples is that they have undergone semantic extension, conveying a figurative meaning: the inherent meaning of sweet taste is stretched to the figurative meaning that goes beyond the taste. In both variants (vii) tal-ccakcikun-hata and (viii) tal-chakcikun-hata, for instance, the sweetness could be either about the somewhat savory sweetish taste of a food item or about the situation. The secondary dictionary meaning for these variants is thus defined as ‘content and pleased’. Likewise, the literal meaning in (x) tal-khom-hata ‘savory sweet in the strong sense’ is extended to the figurative meaning such as ‘intriguingly charming or ingratiating’ or ‘comfortable and cozy’. Such semantic extension of ‘sweet taste’ to positive figurative sense seems to be quite universal. The dictionary definition of sweet in English, for instance, includes both the figurative meaning ‘pleasing to the mind or feelings’, as in (2bc), and the literal one ‘pleasing to the taste’, as in (2a), as its primary meaning (Merriam-Webster Dictionary 1828).

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  1. She likes her coffee sweet. [English]

  2. She has a sweet smile.

  3. It was sweet of her to take care of them.

Finally, and most importantly, there are many variants of ‘sweet’ that can express a speaker’s emotional attitude in Korean. For one thing, positive attitudes of a sweet taste can be conveyed, as in (vii) tal-ccakcikun-hata ‘somewhat savory sweetish in the weak sense.pos.att’, and (iv) tal-khom-ssapssal-hata ‘bitter sweet.pos.att’. In the following example, a speaker’s positive attitude is expressed by the vowel choice in tal- and the degree of positive attitude is expressed by the consonant choice - ccakcikun (weak.pos.att) vs. -chakcikun (strong.pos.att):

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khephi-nun
coffee-Top
ssapssalayha-myenseto
somewhat.bitter-while
tal-chakcikun-hata.
somewhat.savory.sweet.pos.att-Decl
  1. descriptive (literal): ‘Coffee is somewhat bitter yet somewhat savory sweet.’

  2. expressive: ‘I feel very positively about the sweet taste.’

(example taken from Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008National Institute of Korean Language.Google Scholar)

Considering the inherent positivity and general preference toward the sweet taste, the concurrent inflection of positive attitude is unsurprising, as we observed in English also. The crucial difference, however, is that in Korean negative attitudes also can be reflected in the sweet taste as in (v) tal-khom-ssupssul-hata ‘bitter sweet.neg.att’, (xii) tul-khum-hata ‘somewhat sweet in unsavory/unpleasant way.neg.att’ and (xiii) tul-ccekcikun-hata ‘slightly sweet in unsavory/unpleasant way.neg.att’. The following example from a novel reveals the hero’s negative attitude toward the sweet taste of some gum:

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tampay-nun
cigarette-Top
sikumthelthelhay-ss-ko
sour.astrignent.neg.att-Pst-and
kkem-un mwullengmwulleng
gum-Top squashy
tulccekcikunhal-ppwun-i-ess-ta.
slightly.sweet.in.unappetizing.way.neg.att-just-be-Pst-Decl
  1. descriptive (literal): ‘The cigarette was sour and astringent, and the gum was just squashy and slightly sweet.’

  2. expressive: ‘I feel negatively toward the unappetizingly slightly sweet taste of the gum.’ (Y.-H. Park, ‘Menamen songpa-gang’ 1977)

We term this kind of positive and negative emotive variants Emotive Taste Terms (ETTs), which are bold-faced in the list of variants for ‘sweet’ above.

2.2Variants of bitter taste

Just like the taste term for ‘sweet’, ssu-ta ‘bitter’ exhibits three dimensional meaning: (i) literal meaning on the taste; (ii) figurative meaning on the situation; and (iii) expressive meaning with negative, neutral, and positive emotional variants; most frequently used variants are the following, which is also not an exhaustive list:

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8 variants of ssu-ta ‘bitter’

  1. ssap-ssa-lay-hata ‘seemingly somewhat bitter.pos.att’

  2. ssap-ssa-lum-hata ‘seemingly somewhat bitter.pos.att’

  3. ssap-ssal-hata ‘somewhat bitter.pos.att’

  4. ssu-ta ‘bitter; displeased or distressed.neg.att; wretched due to illness.neg.att’

  5. ssu-ti-ssu-ta ‘extremely bitter.neg.att; extremely distressed.neg.att’

  6. ssup-ssu-ley-hata ‘somewhat bitter.neg.att; somewhat displeased or distressed.neg.att’

  7. ssup-ssu-lum-hata ‘seemingly somewhat bitter.neg.att; somewhat displeased or distressed.neg.att’

  8. ssup-ssul-hata ‘somewhat bitter.neg.att; somewhat displeased or distressed.neg.att’

With ‘bitter’ also, most variants convey a fine-grained distinction with respect to the intensity of the taste as in (i) ssap-ssa-lay-hata ‘seemingly somewhat bitter’, (v) ssu-ti-ssu-ta ‘extremely bitter’, etc. Some variants of ‘bitter’ can carry mixture of tastes as in talkhom-ssapssal-hata ‘bitter sweet.pos.att’.

Regarding the variants of taste terms with the inflection of the speaker’s emotional stance, what’s interesting is the fact that the majority of variants for ‘bitter’ tend to concern negative attitude, while most variants of ‘sweet’ above reflect positive attitude. Negative attitudes are reflected in variants of the bitter taste as in (v) ssu-ti-ssu-ta ‘extremely bitter.neg.att’, (vi) ssup-ssu-ley-hata ‘somewhat bitter.neg.att’, etc. The fundamental connection between bitter taste and negative attitude is also shown by the fact that even the basic taste term ssu-ta ‘bitter’ carries a negative sense in its secondary dictionary meanings:

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na-to
I-also
ku
that
ssun
distressing.neg.att
kyenghem-ul
experience-Acc
ha-n
do-Rel
salam-i-yo.
person-be-Decl

‘I also had that distressing experience.’ (S.H. Ham, History and nationality 1979)

Furthermore, as observed in the variants of ‘sweet’ above, these variants of ‘bitter’ seem to have undergone semantic extension, but, in the case of ‘bitter’, towards the opposite direction to the negative axis: the typical aversion to bitter taste is extended to a negative meaning toward the situation. This seems to be a general tendency across languages: In English, the primary definition of bitter concerns both ‘bitter acrid taste’, as in (7a), and ‘distasteful or distressing to the mind’, as in (7b) (Merriam-Webster Dictionary 1828).

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  1. a bitter beer [English]

  2. a bitter sense of shame

Notice that even the basic term ssu-ta ‘bitter’ above conveys two types of negative figurative meaning, ‘displeased or distressed’ and ‘wretched due to illness’, as potential secondary meanings. Likewise, the secondary dictionary definitions for other variants of ‘bitter’ include ‘extremely distressed’ for (v) ssu-ti-ssu-ta, and ‘somewhat displeased or distressed’ for (vi) ssup-ssu-ley-hata.

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ku-nun
he-Top
pwuthak-ul
favor-Acc
keceltangha-ca
denied-after
messukha-ko
awkward-and
ssupssuleyha-ess-ta.
somewhat.displeased.neg.att-Pst-Dec

‘He felt awkward and somewhat displeased after being denied the favor.’ (example taken from Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008National Institute of Korean Language.Google Scholar)

In these variants, the negativity may concern either a literal bitter taste of a food item or a figurative bitterness of the situation. We assume, however, that the extended meaning ‘displeased’ for these variants exists in descriptive dimension, while the negative emotional attitude is supplemented in expressive dimension.

The semantic extension of the positive variants, on the other hand, does not seem as established as that of negative counterparts, since the positive meaning is not explicitly defined as the secondary meaning in the dictionary. Instead, these positive variants deliver a positive sense about the situation, as in (10), as well as the taste itself, as in (9), at the expressive level:33.The positive emotional attitude of talkhom-ssapssalum-han in (10) is further supported by the oddity of the following example with a negative variant; it is due to the conflict with the inherent positive meaning of ‘romance’: (i) # tulkhum-ssupssulum-hansomewhat.bitter.sweet.neg.att-Adn lomaynsuromance

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khephi-potanun
coffee-than
ssapssalha-n
somewhat.bitter.pos.att
mas-i
taste-Nom
issnun
be
nokcha-ka
coh-ta.
green.tea-Nom
like-Decl
a.

descriptive (literal): ‘I like green tea with somewhat bitter taste better than coffee.’

b.

expressive: ‘I feel positively toward the somewhat bitter taste.’ (example taken from Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008National Institute of Korean Language.Google Scholar)

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talkhom-ssapssalum-han
somewhat.bitter.sweet.pos.att-Adn
lomaynsu
romance
c.

descriptive (figurative): ‘A somewhat bittersweet romance’

d.

expressive: ‘I feel positively toward the somewhat bittersweet romance.’

Given the observation so far, it is tempting to conclude that the frequent association of negative attitude with bitter taste is just a natural consequence of semantic extension from the general dispreference or negative emotion associated with bitterness per se, rather than a grammatical device for systematically marking the speaker’s emotional attitude as we argue. An important piece of evidence to support our analysis of the emotional attitude as a Conventional Implicature (CI) marker, however, comes from the fact that positive attitudes also can be conveyed within the realm of bitter taste or situation as in (i) ssap-ssa-lay-hata ‘seemingly somewhat bitter.pos.att’, and (iii) ssap-ssal-hata ‘somewhat bitter.pos.att’. Recall also the positive attitude in the mixture of taste as in (iv) talkhom-ssapssal-hata ‘bitter sweet.pos.att’.

2.3Variants of salty taste

The taste term cca-ta ‘salty’ exhibits the following variants, which is once again not an exhaustive list:

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7 variants of cca-ta ‘salty’

  1. cca-ta ‘salty; stingy (in vulgar language).neg.att’

  2. cca-ti-cca-ta ‘extremely salty; extremely stingy (in vulgar language).neg.att’’

  3. ccap-colum-hata ‘somewhat salty’

  4. ccap-cca-lay-hata ‘somewhat salty (taste or smell)’

  5. ccap-cca-lum-hata ‘somewhat salty (taste or smell)’

  6. ccap-ccal-hata ‘somewhat savory salty.pos.att; orderly and staunch work or behavior.pos.att; becoming substantial and rich.pos.att’

  7. ccip-ccil-hata ‘somewhat unsavory salty.neg.att; unsatisfactory work or behavior.neg.att’

Similar to the taste adjectives for ‘sweet’ and ‘bitter’, most variants for ‘salty’ convey a fine-grained distinction with respect to the intensity of the taste as in (ii) cca-ti-cca-ta ‘extremely salty’ and (iii) ccap-colum-hata ‘somewhat salty’. One interesting typical connotation with the salty taste in Korean concerns being ‘stingy’, as shown from the fact that the secondary dictionary meaning of the basic term cca-ta ‘salty’ is ‘stingy (in vulgar language)’, and that of an intensive variant means ‘extremely stingy’.

Likewise, in English, salty exhibits semantic extension toward a negative direction: besides the basic taste of containing salt as in (12a), it could also mean ‘crude’ as in (12b) (Merriam-Webster Dictionary 1828), or ‘upset’ or ‘depressing’ as in (12c) in a slang term.

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  1. I think the soup tastes salty. [English]

  2. salty language

  3. Don’t be a salty bitch. (example from ‘Urban Dictionary​.com’)

Given the potentially negative connotation (of being stingy) in the basic term of salty taste in Korean, an association of negative attitude is anticipated: in the variant (vii) ccip-ccil-hata, the speaker’s negative emotional attitude may concern either the literal salty taste, meaning ‘somewhat unsavory salty.neg.att’, as in (13a), or the extended meaning concerning the situation ‘unsatisfactory work or behavior.neg.att’, as in (13b):

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  1. ccipccilha-n
    somewhat.unsavory.salty.neg.att
    ttam-i
    sweat-Nom
    ip-ulo
    mouth-into
    tuleo-ass-ta.
    enter-Pst-Decl

    ‘Somewhat unsavory salty sweat got into my mouth.’ (example taken from Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008National Institute of Korean Language.Google Scholar)

  2. Yongi-nun
    Y.-Top
    kaywunchika
    refreshed
    anh-ta.
    Neg-Decl
    tewuk
    more
    kipwun-i
    feeling-Nom
    nappwu-ko
    bad-and
    ccipccilha-ta.
    unsatisfactory.neg.att

    ‘Yongi doesn’t feel refreshed. He’s feeling worse and unsatisfactory.’ (Kyung-li Park, Thoci 1969–1994)

What is surprising about ‘salty’ in Korean, however, is that despite the inherently negative connotation of being stingy with saltiness, positive variants also exist. In (vi) ccap-ccal-hata, the positive attitude may concern either the basic taste meaning ‘somewhat savory salty.pos.att’, or extended meanings such as ‘orderly and staunch work or behavior.pos.att’ or ‘becoming substantial and rich.pos.att’. That is, the positive emotion operates in the expressive dimension, and both the literal meaning of a given taste and the figurative meaning of a given situation operate in the descriptive dimension.

2.4Derivation of taste terms

An important question arises at this point: how can the Korean language allow the flexibility of expressing such a variety of aspects with a single basic taste term? The sophisticated system for conveying extremely nuanced emotional attitudes with taste terms is built upon two main kinds of derivation. First, Korean makes extensive use of phonological alternations of consonants and vowels. Second, Korean is an agglutinative language, allowing productive and cumulative morphological permutations such as prefixation, suffixation, or reduplication. Thus the morpho-phonological system of generating extremely gradient expressions allows the speaker to gracefully deliver the delicate meaning differences regarding their emotional attitude as well as the subtle differences in the quality/quantity of taste.

It is well known that phoneme variation gives rise to intensification effect in Korean: First, alternations of vowels observe the following rules of vowel harmony: (i) yan (bright) vowels such as /a/, /ay/, /o/ have a strong tendency to avoid co-occurrence with yin (dark) vowels such as /e/, /ey/, /u/ within the word boundary; and (ii) the vowel type in the stem (i.e. yin vs. yang) regulates the vowel type in its suffix. In taste terms, the series of yan vowels in the stem of a base taste term tends to associate with a diminutive or moderate connotation, conveying the quality of a given taste being savory or pleasant, while the alternation to yin vowels triggers the opposite attitudes of being unsavory or unpleasant. In a subtype of the tal-ta-series ‘sweet’, for instance, vowel alternations between (i) the yang vowel /a/ and the yin vowel /ɯ/ in the stem and (ii) /a/ and /e/ in the suffix, i.e. between tal-chakcikun-hata and tul-ccekcikun-hata, correlate with positive and negative emotional attitude toward the sweet taste, respectively.

Besides the vowel alternations, consonant alternations bring about additional connotation shift: in the following variants, the alternation /k/ vs. /kh/ in the suffixes - kom vs. - khom ‘savory’ and the alternation /tɕ/ vs. /t͈ɕ/ in the suffixes - ccakcikun vs. - chakcikun ‘somewhat (un)savory’ indicate non-emphatic weak sense vs. emphatic strong sense or feel of the speaker.

In addition to the phoneme variation, morphological variation conveys nuanced meaning differences in Korean. In taste terms, several suffixes are available to trigger various connotation shifts. The series of -kom/khom/khum concerns the quality, marking the savoriness, and the series of -lay/ley/lum concerns the quantity, marking the weaker intensity, of taste. Another possible variation is reduplication along with the infixation of -ti which seems to give rise to an emphatic effect like ‘very’, as in ta-ti-tal-ta. Reduplication without -ti, tal-tal-hata, on the other hand, typically co-occurs with lum/lay/ley/l-series to mark the weaker intensity of the taste.

3.The meaning of taste terms in Korean

3.1Emotive taste terms as expressives

It is generally difficult to articulate subtle emotional attitude of a speaker with only descriptive items; speakers thus employ expressive items to convey their subjective perspective. Representative examples of expressives include epithets such as damn and bastard in English which carry expressive information concerning a speaker’s emotional attitude of the utterance. Potts (2005Potts, Christopher 2005The Logic of Conventional Implicature. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar et seq.) suggests that the expressive content can be understood as conventional implicature (CI), stating that they have “a dramatic impact on how current and future utterances are perceived” (Potts 2007a 2007a “The Expressive Dimension.” Theoretical Linguistics 33: 165–197. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 8).

Besides the epithets with negative attitude, a variety of items have been identified as expressives across languages. For instance, adverbials such as yoku and yokumo, expressing speaker’s surprise, in Japanese are analyzed as expressive elements (McCready 2004McCready, Eric 2004 “Two Japanese Adverbials and Expressive Content.” Semantics and Linguistic Theory 14: 163–178. CrossrefGoogle Scholar). Likewise, intensifiers such as sau, total, and voll in German, roughly translated as ‘totally’, are identified as expressive intensifiers (Gutzmann & Turgay 2012Gutzmann, Daniel and Katharina Turgay 2012 “Expressive Intensifiers in German: Syntaxsemantics Mismatches.” In Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 9. ed. by C. Piñón, 149–166.Google Scholar).

Another type of expressives is found in the realm of honorification system in the sense that, as Potts (2007b)Potts, Christopher and Shigeto Kawahara 2004 “Japanese Honorifics as Emotive Definite Descriptions.” Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 14: 235–254. CrossrefGoogle Scholar notes, it reveals the speaker’s attitude. Honorifics in Japanese (Potts 2005Potts, Christopher 2005The Logic of Conventional Implicature. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar; Potts and Kawahara 2004Potts, Christopher and Shigeto Kawahara 2004 “Japanese Honorifics as Emotive Definite Descriptions.” Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 14: 235–254. CrossrefGoogle Scholar) and Korean (Kim and Sells 2007Kim, Jong-Bok and Peter Sells 2007 “Korean Honorification: A Kind of Expressive Meaning.” Journal of East Asian Linguistics Journal 16: 303–336. CrossrefGoogle Scholar), for example, have been classified as expressives. In a similar vein, informal and formal pronouns in German have been treated as expressives also, since they can inform the addressee of the expressive setting such as the relationship between speaker and hearer (Potts 2007bPotts, Christopher and Shigeto Kawahara 2004 “Japanese Honorifics as Emotive Definite Descriptions.” Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 14: 235–254. CrossrefGoogle Scholar). (We will return to the discussion of honorification as expressives in Section 5.5.) Furthermore, there are still other types of expressives such as ‘even’ items in Greek, and metalinguistic ‘more’ and ‘than’ particles in Greek and Korean (Giannakiodu and Yoon 2011 2011 “The Subjective Mode of Comparison: Metalinguistic Comparatives in Greek and Korean.” Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 29 (3): 621–655. CrossrefGoogle Scholar).

For these emotionally charged items, Potts (2007a 2007a “The Expressive Dimension.” Theoretical Linguistics 33: 165–197. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 1) notes that they have “an immediate and powerful impact on the context” and “a speaker’s expressives indicate that she is in a heightened emotional state. They can tell us if she is angry or elated, frustrated or at ease, powerful or subordinated” (Potts 2007a 2007a “The Expressive Dimension.” Theoretical Linguistics 33: 165–197. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 8). Similarly, ETTs in Korean express a speaker’s heightened emotional stance which is the canonical property of expressives. When a speaker employs one of the emotional variants of the basic taste term, the effect of utterance becomes more emphatic. The lexical selection among different variants of taste terms can thus be understood as a speaker’s tactful strategy to establish their emotive stance.

Before jumping to the conclusion, let us examine ETTs with the typical properties of expressives (Potts 2005Potts, Christopher 2005The Logic of Conventional Implicature. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar, 2007a 2007a “The Expressive Dimension.” Theoretical Linguistics 33: 165–197. CrossrefGoogle Scholar) to see whether our analysis of ETTs as expressives is on the right track. An ETT, as a stance marker, is expected to exhibit the hallmarks of expressive. First, ETTs exhibit independence. Independence means that the expressive content of pejoratives like bastard contributes to the expressive dimension of meaning that is detached from the semantic at-issue dimension. In Potts’ example ‘That bastard Frederic is famous’, what is asserted is ‘Frederic is famous’ (descriptive meaning), but what is additionally expressed is ‘Frederic is a bastard in my opinion’ (expressive meaning). Likewise, the at-issue meaning of the ETT ccipccilha is ‘somewhat unsavory salty’, but it simultaneously expresses the speaker’s negative attitude toward the literal dimension of salty taste:

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ccipccilha-n
somewhat.unsavory.salty
ttam-i
sweat-Nom
ip-ulo
mouth-into
tuleo-ass-ta.
enter-Pst-Decl
  1. descriptive meaning (literal): ‘Salty sweat got into my mouth.’

  2. expressive meaning: ‘I feel very negatively toward the unsavory salty taste.’

A positive attitude, on the other hand, can be reflected in ETT toward the figurative at-issue dimension of sweet, i.e. satisfactory, situation, as shown in the following example:

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mochelem
after.a.long.time
talkhomha-key
comfortable.and.cozy-Adv
swui-ess-ta.
rest-Pst-Decl.
  1. descriptive meaning (figurative): ‘It’s been a long time since I took such a sweet (comfortable and cozy) rest.’

  2. expressive meaning: ‘I feel very positively toward the rest.’ (example taken from Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008National Institute of Korean Language.Google Scholar)

Second, ETTs show nondisplaceability. Since expressives always comment on the utterance situation itself, they cannot report on past events, attitudes, or emotions, unless they are in quotations (Potts 2007a 2007a “The Expressive Dimension.” Theoretical Linguistics 33: 165–197. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 5). ETTs in Korean also exhibit such immediate impact on the context:

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ecey
yesterday
ccipccilha-n
somewhat.unsavory.salty
ttam-i
sweat-Nom
ip-ulo
mouth-into
tuleo-ass-ta.
enter-Pst-Decl
  1. descriptive meaning (literal): ‘Salty sweat got into my mouth yesterday.’

  2. expressive meaning: ‘I feel very negatively toward the unsavory salty taste.’

    – #sayngkakhayponi
    on.reflection
    sasil
    actually
    sangkhoay-hayss-e!
    refreshing-Pst-Decl

    ‘#Now that I think about it, it was actually refreshing!’

Here the lexical choice of the negative emotive variant ccipccilha ‘somewhat unsavory salty.neg.att’, over neutral or positive variants, indicates that the speaker expresses their currently effective negative emotion even though the propositional content concerns an event in the past. This is shown by the infelicitous continuation ‘#Now that I think about it, it was refreshing!’ with a conflicting attitude. This means that the effect of negative emotional attitude must be tied to the time of utterance.

Within the system of CI logic, the multidimensional meaning can be represented as the following: (i) the literal descriptive meaning of the sentence with the type e (at-issue type) is ‘salty’ or (ii) the figurative meaning of the sentence with the type e is ‘unsatisfactory’; and (iii) the conventionalized implicature with the type ε (CI type) is ‘I feel negatively toward the x (as it was unpleasant or unsavory).’:

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ccipccilha-n          X

  1. at issue (literal): salty(x): e                    ; or

  2. at issue (figurative): unsatisfactory(situation): e   ; and

  3. CI: negative-attitude(the-speaker)(x): ε

Finally, as CIs, ETTs in Korean exhibit ineffability. Each variant of ‘salty’, for instance, conveys its own connotational nuance in terms of the speaker’s positive or negative emotional attitude, in addition to the taste or situation. Employing an ETT thus means that the speaker has made a deliberate choice of a particular variant among abundant morpho-phonological alternatives for denoting the same taste. This involves a complicated (albeit effortless) process of achieving a complex combination of altered consonants, vowels, and/or suffixes. We assume that this is a tactful strategy of conveying an extremely subtle yet nuanced meaning of the taste in the context, hence a paraphrase with non-expressive elements would not maintain its unique flavor of a particular variant like ccipccilhan ‘somewhat unsavory salty.neg.att’.

Given the properties of taste terms so far, we conclude that ETTs in Korean is a subtype of expressive elements, akin to the aforementioned expressive elements.

3.2The effect of emotive taste terms in context

Within Potts’ (2007a 2007a “The Expressive Dimension.” Theoretical Linguistics 33: 165–197. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, (37)) system, the result of uttering an expressive is captured as an operation on the context. The context contains various parameters including an expressive setting cs , which consists of a set of Expressive Indices (EIs). EIs are the main objects manipulated by expressive denotations, defined as “a triple <a I b>, I ∈ [−1, 1].” EIs are the essential basis for expressive domains in expressive items (e.g. damn). These indices are defined via numerical intervals I ⊆ [−1, 1], and encode the degree and orientation of the expressive. In the triple <a I b>, an individual a is at expressive level I for an individual b. The innovation of expressive intervals is its flexibility to encode the gradience in emotional stance from neutral to very positive or negative. Emotive relations are defined by manipulating I to proper subintervals of [−1, 1], in which more positive numbers represent more positive expressive relationship, and more negative numbers mean more negative expressive relationship. Since EIs are merely entities, the nuanced connotation of expressives is difficult to be perfectly translated by a paraphrase, i.e. ineffability. Instead, EIs allow the propositional implications: in <[[tom]] [−.5, 0] [[jerry]]>, we infer a proposition along the line of ‘Tom feels negatively toward Jerry.’ The numerical indices allow us to represent the emotive relation between the judge and the referent. The EI of ETTs thus needs to indicate the intensity and polarity of emotional attitude. Building on Giannakidou and Yoon (2011 2011 “The Subjective Mode of Comparison: Metalinguistic Comparatives in Greek and Korean.” Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 29 (3): 621–655. CrossrefGoogle Scholar; Yoon 2011Yoon, Suwon 2011‘Not’ in the Mood: the Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics of Evaluative Negation. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Chicago.Google Scholar, 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar), we propose the following expressive indices of ETTs:

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Expressive indices (EI) of emotive taste terms

  1. Emotive taste terms contain expressive indices <a I e>, where a is the individual anchor, e the referent the individual anchor refers to, and I ⊆ [−1, 1].

  2. The index I is an attitude towards e that may be either (a) buletic state or (b) epistemic state. An ETT’s index ranges through both the positive and negative interval:

    1. ETT: <e, ε> : An ETT combines descriptive content e (the type of entities for the referent) and expressive content ε.

    2. [[emotive taste terms]]c: λe.e (identity function); c is the context

    3. Expressive content of emotive taste terms in c:

      Emotive taste terms contain an expressive index (EI) <a I e>, where a is the individual anchor, e the referent the individual anchor refers to; and I ranges between [−1, 1].

    4. The expressive index varies among the subtypes of emotive taste terms: e.g., weak negative tul-ccekcikun-hata ‘slightly sweet in unsavory/unpleasant way.neg.att’ with [−1,0], strong positive ta-ti-tal-ta ‘extremely sweet; extremely considerate and affectionate.pos.att’ with [.5,1], etc. (cf. neutral taste term tal-ta ‘sweet’ with [−1,1])

First, the provision in (18a) shows that ETTs have variants with differing strength and polarity of emotion (weak vs. strong, positive vs. negative taste terms). Second, (18b) states that the expressive interval I may concern either buletic or epistemic state of a given taste: for instance, I may concern a buletic state if an individual expresses desirability toward a given stimulus – an ETT variant may convey negative feelings about a given taste (or situation) such as being unsavory or unpleasant, or positive emotions such as being savory or pleasant; or I may concern an epistemic state such as degree of certainty about the speaker’s perception of the taste (e.g. ssup-ssu-lum-hata ‘seemingly somewhat bitter.neg.att; somewhat displeased or distressed.neg.att’). Finally, the provision in (18ii-d) states that there are multiple subcategories of ETTs with different degrees of expressive indices. For instance, weak negative ETTs like tul-ccekcikun-hata ‘slightly sweet in unsavory/unpleasant way.neg.att’ with [−1,0], weak positive ETTs like tal-ccakcikun-hata ‘somewhat savory sweetish in the weak sense.pos.att; content and pleased.pos.att’ with [0,1], or strong positive ETTs like ta-ti-tal-ta ‘extremely sweet; extremely considerate and affectionate.pos.att’ with [.5,1], and the neutral taste term tal-ta ‘sweet’ with [−1,1].

Theoretical implications of the current proposal on the CI of ETTs then include the generalization that the function of ETTs may be incorporated as part of the grammar along with typical expressive elements. That is, ETTs are reflexes of grammaticalization of perspective and subjective mode, akin to other phenomena such as predicates of personal taste (Lasersohn 2009), mood choice (Yoon 2011Yoon, Suwon 2011‘Not’ in the Mood: the Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics of Evaluative Negation. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Chicago.Google Scholar, 2013 2013 “Parametric Variation in Subordinate Evaluative Negation: Japanese/Korean vs. Others.” Journal of East Asian Linguistics 22 (2): 133–166. CrossrefGoogle Scholar), or metalinguistic comparatives (Giannakidou and Yoon 2009Giannakidou, Anastasia and Suwon Yoon 2009 “Metalinguistic Functions and the Expressive Dimension in Greek and Korean: Attitude Semantics, Expressive Meaning and NPI Licensing.” In Proceedings of the 13th Sinn und Bedeutung, ed. by L. Geist, K. von Heusinger, H. Kamp, U. Klein, F. Martin, E. Onea, A. Riester, and T. Solstad, 141–156. Stuttgart: Online Publikationsverbund der Universität Stuttgart (OPUS).Google Scholar, 2011 2011 “The Subjective Mode of Comparison: Metalinguistic Comparatives in Greek and Korean.” Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 29 (3): 621–655. CrossrefGoogle Scholar).44.Thus the meaning of ETTs can be understood along the lines of predicates of personal taste like fun in the sense of Lasersohn (2009). One of the hallmarks of predicates of personal taste concerns the problem of faultless disagreement: “A: Kissing is fun. B: No, kissing is not fun.” The following example shows that such faultless disagreement is also possible with Korean ETTs: (i) Context: Kim and Lee are roommates. Kim likes Mrs. Park, an old lady next door, but Lee hates her. Mrs. Park baked an apple pie for them this morning, and they are discussing the taste of the pie: Kim: phai-kapie-Nom cengmalreally tal-khom-hata.savory.sweet.in.the.strong.sense.pos.att-Decl ‘This pie is really savory sweet.’ Lee: aniya,no tul-ccekcikun-hata.slightly.sweet.in.unsavory/unpleasant.way.neg.att-Decl ‘No, it is slightly sweet in unsavory, unpleasant way.’ The crucial difference here is that, unlike predicates of personal taste, the faultless disagreement with ETTs concerns the meaning in another dimension, i.e. on the expressive level. On the semantic at-issue level, both speakers, Kim and Lee, assert the same fact that Ms. Park’s pie has a sweet taste. The disagreement concerns two speakers’ subjective perception of the emotive nature of the sweet taste.

4.Compatibility condition for multiple expressives

In Section 5, we discuss how ETTs interact with other kinds of expressives, examining compatibility between multiple expressive items based on the Compatibility Condition Model (CCM) for multiple expressives (Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, Figure 1):

Figure 1.Compatibility Condition Model (CCM) for multiple expressives The figure shows the Compatibility Condition Model (CCM) for multiple expressives with varying degrees of attitudes: from strongly negative with Expressive Index (EI) [−1,−.5] (marked as ), through negative [−1,0], neutral [−1,1], positive [0,1], to strongly positive [.5,1]. For the combination of (expressive) lexical category 1 and (expressive) lexical category 2, the Compatibility Condition Index (CCI) calculates the degree of their compatibility. The black squares indicate the regions of high compatibility with CCI of 100%, the dark gray ones, the regions of mid-compatibility with CCI of 50%, and so on.
Figure 1.

4.1Compatibility between ETTs and expressive nouns

Korean makes extensive use of expressive elements: a speaker can reveal subtle emotional attitudes ranging from negative to positive emotion by means of a variety of sentential categories such as nouns, verbs, functional adverbs, case particles, and complementizers. These emotive elements can be classified into three categories: positive/honorific, neutral, and negative/antihonorific (Giannakidou and Yoon 2009Giannakidou, Anastasia and Suwon Yoon 2009 “Metalinguistic Functions and the Expressive Dimension in Greek and Korean: Attitude Semantics, Expressive Meaning and NPI Licensing.” In Proceedings of the 13th Sinn und Bedeutung, ed. by L. Geist, K. von Heusinger, H. Kamp, U. Klein, F. Martin, E. Onea, A. Riester, and T. Solstad, 141–156. Stuttgart: Online Publikationsverbund der Universität Stuttgart (OPUS).Google Scholar, 2011 2011 “The Subjective Mode of Comparison: Metalinguistic Comparatives in Greek and Korean.” Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 29 (3): 621–655. CrossrefGoogle Scholar).

To begin, we can test the compatibility between ETTs and the following variants for ‘guy’ that convey different degrees of emotional attitude toward the referent (Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar): (i) saykki ‘bastard’ with the strong negative Expressive Index (EI) [−1,−.5]; (ii) nom or casik ‘jerk’ with the weak negative EI [−1,0]; (iii) namca ‘man, guy’ with the neutral EI [−1,1]; (iv) ssi ‘Mr./Ms.’ with the weak positive EI [0,1]; and (v) nim and pwun ‘sir, the honorable’ with the strong positive EI [.5,1].55.One might wonder how the taste term can modify these variants for ‘guy’, but it is to some extent possible via the semantic extension from the meaning of ETTs. For instance, we can describe a person’s character as stingy with ccata ‘salty’. Furthermore, emotional variants for nouns like ‘smell’ and ‘taste’ exhibit systematic compatibility patterns with the variants with corresponding EIs:

Table 1.The compatibility of ETTs and expressive nouns
Table 1.

As in the Compatibility Condition Model (CCM) in Figure 1 above, the degree of shading in Table 1 reflects the degree of their compatibility: the black cells indicate the regions of high compatibility between expressive lexical category 1 and expressive lexical category 2; the dark gray cells indicate the regions of mid-compatibility; the light gray cells indicate the regions of low compatibility; and the white cells indicate the regions of incompatibility. From Table 1 we can predict that a strong negative ETT like ccip-ccil-hata ‘somewhat unsavory salty.neg.att; unsatisfactory work or behavior.neg.att’ with [−1,−.5] is most compatible with the strong negative terms such as saykki ‘bastard’, akchwuy ‘stink’, or mastaykali ‘taste.neg.att’ which has the identical index of [−1,−.5]. A medium level of compatibility is expected with the weak negative nouns like nom ‘jerk’ [−1,0]. A low level of compatibility is anticipated with neutral nouns such as namca ‘guy’, naymsay ‘smell’, or mas ‘taste’ with [−1,1]. Furthermore, both weak positive nouns like ssi ‘Mr./Ms.’ and strong ones such as pwun ‘sir’, hyangki ‘aroma’, and phwungmi ‘savoriness’ are predicted to be incompatible. On the other hand, a strong positive ETT like ccap-ccal-hata ‘somewhat savory salty.pos.att; orderly and staunch work or behavior.pos.att; becoming substantial and rich.pos.att’ with the EI [.5,1], is incompatible with strong negative terms like saykki ‘bastard’, akchwuy ‘stink’, or mastaykali ‘taste.neg.att’, or even weak negative one nom ‘jerk’. However, it is moderately compatible with weak positive noun like ssi ‘Mr./Ms.’ [0,1] and highly compatible with strong positive terms like pwun/nim ‘sir’, hyangki ‘aroma’, and phwungmi ‘savoriness’ with the matching index of [.5,1]. The compatibility paradigm is borne out in the following data, which reveals oddity only in incompatible cases:

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  1. ccipccilhan
    salty.neg.att
    {akchwuy
    stink.neg.att
    /naymsay
    /smell.neut.att
    /#hyangki}
    /aroma.pos.att
  2. ccan
    salty.neut.att
    {akchwuy
    stink.neg.att
    /naymsay
    /smell.neut.att
    /hyangki}
    /aroma.pos.att
  3. ccapccalhan
    salty.pos.att
    {#akchwuy
    stink.neg.att
    /naymsay
    /smell.neut.att
    /hyangki}
    /aroma.pos.att

In order to measure the degree of compatibility between two (or more) expressive elements with an Expressive Index, we adopt the simplified Compatibility Condition Index (CCI) that Yoon (2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, (38)) suggests:

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Compatibility Condition Index (CCI)

ex20.svg

The simplified equation in (20) shows how the strength of EI affects the compatibility constraint: weak negative items, for instance, may contribute about half of the strong negative elements. In the case of ccip-ccil-hata ‘somewhat unsavory salty.neg.att’ with [−1,−.5], the EI length of which is 0.5, and nom ‘jerk’ [−1,0], the EI length of which is 1, the CCI is 50%; we thus anticipate mid-compatibility for the interfacial bonding of the two emotive lexical items.

The CCI allows us to calculate the approximate degree of compatibility between variants of emotive nouns and ETTs, hence predicts the co-occurrence patterns of expressives, as summarized in Table 2, refined from Table 1 above:

Table 2. Compatibility Condition Index (CCI) of ETTs and expressive nouns
Table 2.

The Compatibility Condition Index (CCI) indicates how natural the co-occurrence of multiple expressives is. Thus the 100% of CCI means that the strong negative ETTs like ccip-ccil-hata ‘somewhat unsavory salty.neg.att’ with [−1,−.5] most naturally and frequently occur with the strong negative nouns such as saykki ‘bastard’ or akchwi ‘stink’ which has the perfectly matching index of [−1,−.5]. The 50% of CCI predicts that it occurs less frequently with the weak negative terms like nom or casik ‘jerk’ [−1,0]. On the other hand, due to the lack of 0% regions for the neutral terms such as namca ‘guy’, naymsay ‘smell’, mas ‘taste’ [−1,1], any kind of ETTs can occur. Also, the same pattern is predicted with positive ETTs. Our prediction is borne out in the following examples in which only regions with 0% compatibility give rise to oddity:

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ETTs with various emotive nouns

  1. {#ccapccalhan/✓ccan/✓ccipccilhan} {saykki/akchwi/mattaykali}
    salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att bastard/stink/taste.neg.att

    ‘The (CI{positively/plain/negatively}) salty bastard/stink/taste’

  2. {#ccapccalhan/✓ccan/✓ccipccilhan} {nom/casik}
    salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att jerk

    ‘The (CI{positively/plain/negatively}) salty jerk’

  3. {✓ccapccalhan/✓ccan/✓ccipccilhan} {namca/naymsay/mas}
    salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att man/smell/taste

    ‘The (CI{positively/plain/negatively}) salty man/smell/taste’

  4. {✓ccapccalhan/✓ccan/#ccipccilhan} Brown-ssi
    salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att Mr. Brown

    ‘The (CI{positively/plain/negatively}) salty Mr. Brown’

  5. {✓ccapccalhan/✓ccan/#ccipccilhan} kyoswu.nim/hayngki/phwungmi
    salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att Professor.hon/aroma/savoriness

    ‘The (CI{positively/plain/negatively}) salty Professor/aroma/savoriness’

    N.B. Figurative meanings for variants of ‘salty’ and ‘person’:

    ‘The {#salty.pos.att/stingy.neut.att/unsatisfactory.neg.att} bastard/jerk/man/Mr. Brown/Professor’

4.2Compatibility between ETTs and expressive case markers

Korean is known for its sophisticated honorification system, in which a respectful attitude is reflected in honorific case markers like kkeyse ‘Nom.hon’, whereas a disrespectful attitude can be conveyed also by derogatory particles like ttawi ‘lit. ilk (enumerative particle)’ (Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar). Assuming that these (anti-)honorific markers are a subtype of expressives (Kim and Sells 2007Kim, Jong-Bok and Peter Sells 2007 “Korean Honorification: A Kind of Expressive Meaning.” Journal of East Asian Linguistics Journal 16: 303–336. CrossrefGoogle Scholar), we can test the compatibility between these (anti-)honorific case markers and ETTs.

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ETTs with honorific nominative case markers

{✓ccapccalhan/✓ccan/#ccipccilhan}1
salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att
ttam-ihungkenhan haynye(pwun)-kkeyse 2
sweat-soaked woman.diver-Nom.hon
tuleo-(si)ess-ta.
enter-Pst-Decl

‘The (CIhonorable)2 woman diver soaked with (CI{positively/plain/negatively})1 salty sweat came in.’

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ETTs with neutral (regular) nominative case markers

{✓ccapccalhan/✓ccan/✓ccipccilhan}1
salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att
ttam-ihungkenhan
sweat-soaked
haynye-ka 2
woman.diver-Nom.neut
tuleo-ass-ta.
enter-Pst-Decl

‘The woman diver soaked with (CI{positively/plain/negatively})1 salty sweat came in.’

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ETTs with anti-honorific nominative case markers

{#ccapccalhan/✓ccan/✓ccipccilhan}1
salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att
ttam-ihungkenhan
sweat-soaked
haynye-ttawi.ka 2
woman.diver-Nom.anti.hon
tuleo-ass-ta.
enter-Pst-Decl

‘The (CIdishonorable)2 woman diver soaked with (CI{positively/plain/negatively})1 salty sweat came in.’

First, the negative emotion reflected in the variant of ccip-ccil-hata ‘somewhat unsavory salty.neg.att’ renders it incompatible with honorific nominative case markers like kkeyse. Furthermore, all variants of ETTs can occur with neutral case markers like ka, and the strong positive variant like ccap-ccal-hata ‘somewhat savory salty.pos.att’ sounds odd with case markers with negative attitude like ttawi.ka. The compatibility condition between ETTs and case markers can be summarized as follows:

Table 3.Compatibility of ETTs and case markers
Table 3.

As such, the systematic pattern further supports Yoon’s Compatibility Condition Model (CCM). The advantage of CCM is to allow us to predict how an expressive item would interact with another expressive item, while also suggesting appropriate Expressive Indices (EI) of ETTs and case markers. For instance, Kim and Sells’ (2007)Kim, Jong-Bok and Peter Sells 2007 “Korean Honorification: A Kind of Expressive Meaning.” Journal of East Asian Linguistics Journal 16: 303–336. CrossrefGoogle Scholar assumption that honorific case markers like kkeyse and kkey have an EI of [.5,1] is supported by their incompatibility with negative ETTs such as tulkhum/ccipccil/ssupssul-hata ‘sweet/salty/bitter.neg.att’ [−1,−.5]. Neutral case markers like ka and eykey with [−1,1] are immune to any emotive state, hence occur with any variant of ETT. Finally, anti-honorific case markers like ttawi-ka and ttawi-eykey with [−1,−.5] are expected to be incompatible with positive ETTs like talkhom/ccapccal/ssapssal-hata ‘sweet/salty/bitter.pos.att’ with [.5,1]. In sum, the Compatibility Condition for the expressive elements between ETTs and case markers is predicted from the numerical indices of emotional attitude of each expressive element.

4.3Compatibility between ETTs and expressive verbs

Along with the emotive nouns and (anti-)honorific case markers, the subject honorific marker -si on verbs or copulas has been analyzed as expressives with positive attitude. We assume the subject honorific marking -si on verbs is an expressive marker of the strong positive attitude with the narrow positive range of [.5,1] (Kim and Sells 2007Kim, Jong-Bok and Peter Sells 2007 “Korean Honorification: A Kind of Expressive Meaning.” Journal of East Asian Linguistics Journal 16: 303–336. CrossrefGoogle Scholar), hence incompatible with negative ETTs like tulkhum/ccipccil/ssupssul-hata ‘sweet/salty/bitter.neg.att’ with a strong negative index [−1,−.5]:66.Honorific attitude and emotional attitude have been treated together in the previous literature. It has been shown that honorific speech tends to be more emotionally constrained while non-honorific speech is more emotionally free in Japanese (Dunn 2010Dunn, Cynthia Dickel 2010 “Information Structure and Discourse Stance in a Monologic “Public Speaking” Register of Japanese.” Journal of Pragmatics 42: 1890–1911. CrossrefGoogle Scholar), and Japanese honorification has been analyzed as expressives along with other emotional kinds such as damn (Potts and Kawahara 2004Potts, Christopher and Shigeto Kawahara 2004 “Japanese Honorifics as Emotive Definite Descriptions.” Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 14: 235–254. CrossrefGoogle Scholar). As a reviewer points out, however, it is important to note that they do not always go hand in hand. One attempt to tease them apart is found in Yoon (2015) 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, which will be discussed in Section 4.4.

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ETTs with subject honorific verbs

halmeni-ka
grandmother-Nom
sonswu
from.scratch
kkulhi-si 2-n
cook-Subj.Hon-Gen
{✓ccapccalhan/✓ccan/#ccipccilhan}1
salty.pos/salty.neut/salty.neg.att
kwuk
soup

‘the (CI{positively/plain/negatively})1 salty soup that my (CIhonorable)2 grandmother made from scratch’

The emotional attitude, on the other hand, can be further supplemented by verbal expressives with negative attitude. Negative verbal inflections like V-peli express a negative attitude toward the content of the proposition by putting an extra emphasis on the completion of action or state; thus the speaker’s resentment is expressed on the irrecoverability (Joe and Lee 2002Joe, Jieun and Chungmin Lee 2002 “A ‘Removal’ Type of Negative Predicates.” In Proceedings of the 10th Japanese Korean Linguistics Conference. CSLI Publication.Google Scholar; Choe 2004Choe, Jae-Woong 2004 “Obligatory Honorification and the Honorific Feature.” Studies in Generative Grammar 14, 545–559.Google Scholar; Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar). Assuming that the negative index of the verbal inflection peli is [−1,−.5], the strong negative emotion reflected in verbal morphology explains why it is most natural with negative ETTs like tulkhum/ccipccil/ssupssul-hata ‘sweet/salty/bitter.neg.att’, tolerable with neutral ETTs like tan/ccan/ssun ‘sweet/salty/bitter.neut.att’, but odd with the positive ETTs like talkhom/ccapccal/ssapssal-hata ‘sweet/salty/bitter.pos.att’:

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ETTs with negative verbs

umsik-i
food-Nom
{#talkhomhakey/✓talkey/✓tulkhumhakey}1
sweet.pos/sweet.neut/sweet.neg.att
toye.peli 2-ess-ta.
become.neg-Pst-Decl

‘The food (CIresentfully)2 has become (CI{positively/plain/negatively})1 sweet.’

The compatibility pattern so far is summarized as follows:

Table 4.Compatibility of ETTs and (anti-)honorific verbal markers
Table 4.

4.4Compatibility condition, cumulative effects, and multidimensionality

The observations so far follow the Compatibility Condition (Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar; Yae and Yoon 2017Yae, James and Suwon Yoon 2017 “Compatibility Condition for Expressives Revisited: a Big Data-based Trend Analysis.” Language Sciences 64: 69–102. CrossrefGoogle Scholar), which assumes “the polarity (either negative or positive attitude axis) of expressives must match with one another within an utterance, while the strength (e.g., weak or strong negativity) at the expressive level does not have to be precisely identical.” The co-occurrence patterns of multiple expressives reveal how the emotional attitude in ETTs interacts with different emotive elements within the sentence. Given the facts, we conclude first that the expressive component of ETTs is sensitive to that of other elements. Second, the polarity (i.e. negative or positive axis of emotional attitude) must either agree with that of its environment, or at least be tolerable with the environment. Finally, the degree of strength of a given attitude is not required to precisely match with another attitudinal component in the sentence, but there must be sufficient overlap between EIs of two expressive elements (e.g. 25% overlap).

Regarding the question of how precisely expressive elements have an impact on one another, we need to know whether the multiple markings of expressives should be understood as a kind of attitude agreement effect, or a more accumulative effect with significant systematic strengthening. Just like the interaction between ethnic slurs and other expressives discussed in Yoon (2015) 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, ETTs exhibit similar kind of cumulative effects. In the following example with four instances of expressive items, the collective effects of one anti-honorific element and three negative-expressive elements result an extremely strong negative attitude:

(27)
ccipccilhan 1
salty.neg.att
oncipaney
throughout.house
akchwui 2-ttawika3
stink.neg.att-Nom.anti.hon
phecyepeli 4-ess-ta.
spread.neg.att-Pst-Decl

‘The (CIdamn)3 (CInegatively salty)1 (CIstink)2 (CIregrettably)4 spread throughout the house.’

Before closing our discussion, let us briefly tackle one more important issue regarding multidimensionality, i.e. the question on the widely assumed correlation between honorific and positive emotional dimension, and antihonorific and negative emotional dimension. The question of autonomy of different expressive dimensions is a tricky issue, since the two dimensions tend to go hand in hand and their differences are rather subtle to tear apart. As Yoon (2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 20) notes, however, each dimension seems to function independently. In the following examples with apparently conflicting multidimensional attitudes, the speaker needs to conform to the social obligation of addressing the hearer with the proper title sir but simultaneously intends to convey a negative emotional stance with bastard or how dare you:

(28)
  1. “Sir, You Bastard” [English]

    (book title by G. F. Newman, 1970, UK)

  2. “How dare you, sir!”

    (spoken by the waiter, Jack, to a rude patron at an upscale restaurant, “Will & GraceNBC TV series) (Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, (50))

Likewise, in the following example in Korean, the speaker is socially obliged to use honorific forms for the CEO of the company, while expresses negative emotion toward the descriptive content with the negative expressive verbal suffix peli.

(29)
Hoycangnim-kkeyse 1
CEO-Nom.hon
cwusik-ul
stock-Acc
maykakhay-peli 2 -si 3-ess-e.
sell-neg.att-subj.hon-Pst-Decl

‘The (CIhonorable)1 (CIhonorable)3 CEO has (CIregreattably)2 sold his stocks.’ (Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, (51))

Furthermore, as a reviewer correctly points out, the combination of negative ETTs and honorific markers, ccipccilhan{Brown-ssi/kyoswu.nim} in (21d,e) above seems possible in a proper context, although these honorifics generally tend to co-occur with positive or neutral variants of ETTs. (This tendency is because a speaker typically drops such an honorific title when expressing a negative emotion toward the referent, unless uttered in a sarcastic tone of voice.)

ETTs thus confirm that there can be separate expressive dimensions for emotion and honorification, just as there are distinct descriptive dimensions for literal and figurative meanings as we argue.

To summarize the discussion so far, the compatibility condition of ETTs and other expressive items importantly reveals the specific requirement on the emotive range of each item. We take this fact to argue that we can add ETTs to the list of expressives for conveying multilayered meanings.

5.Conclusion

In examining different connotational nuances in Korean emotive taste terms, we have first shown the systematicity of how various derivations can be achieved by systematic phonological and morphological alternations. The main goal of this study, however, is to show that the possible variants systematically convey a speaker’s positive or negative emotional attitude via the choice of a particular derivation of the base taste term. Regarding the emotional aspect, we have proposed that the attitudinal component of ETT is an expressive element that can be understood as Conventional Implicature in the sense of Potts (2005)Potts, Christopher 2005The Logic of Conventional Implicature. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar, i.e. the emotional attitude in ETTs exists in another expressive dimension with a specific emotional index for each taste term with respect to strength and polarity of the attitude. Attesting the CI status of ETTs with general properties of CI, we propose that the meaning of ETTs in Korean is a novel hybrid type of expressive element since ETTs also convey the descriptive meaning concerning quantity/quality of the taste or situation; we thus can achieve the precise connotational differences among variants of ETTs. This implies that the meaning of ETTs can be analyzed as at least three dimensional: first, the semantic literal dimension in which the indication of taste is conveyed by the base taste term (and certain derivational morphology); second, the figurative dimension in which the meaning of a given taste is stretched to the semantically extended meaning regarding the situation; and, finally, the pragmatic expressive dimension in which emotive state of the speaker is reflected in the choice of derivational morpho-phonology for the native taste terms. We furthermore showed how expressive dimension can be further split into emotive and honorific dimensions.

Another main goal of the current study is to investigate whether ETTs conform to the theory of the Compatibility Condition Model (CCM) and the Compatibility Condition Index (CCI) (Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar). Examining the dynamic paradigm of multiple expressives, we have shown how the compatibility between ETTs and various other expressives importantly reveals the precise contribution of the emotive range of each expressive item. We take the observed parallels with previously discussed expressives to conclude that ETTs should be added to the category of expressives in Korean. As a strategy for conveying the amalgam of multifaceted meanings, ETTs can be understood as a reflex of the grammaticalization of the attitude holder’s complex attitudinal stance, combining multiple (non-conflicting) subjective modes into a single utterance.

Regarding the notion of expressives, the investigation on Korean data is particularly telling since its extensive uses of expressives across lexical categories offer a valid testing ground for the interaction of various expressive items, and, we assume, the findings are highly applicable to other languages.

The implications of our study are the following: First, the investigation of the meaning differences in variants of ETTs and their interaction with other expressives importantly reveals the systematicity of expressives, which means that we should include them as part of our grammar. Second, by identifying another important case of expressive element in language, our analysis of ETTs with respect to four distinct dimensions of meaning enriches the notion of multidimensionality (Potts 2005Potts, Christopher 2005The Logic of Conventional Implicature. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar et seq.). Finally, the grammaticality of sentences with ETTs and other expressives further supports the compatibility condition (Yoon 2015 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar).

Notes

1. Ginatulin (1972)Ginatulin, Laman M. 1972 “The Semantics of Words and Sense Organs.” Foreign Philology, 1. Ama-Ata.Google Scholar, for instance, considers the interconnection and stipulation of sensitive cognition and abstract thinking as two stages of cognition.
2.Note that only variants with emotional attitudes (i.e. ETTs) are bold-faced in the list, in which ‘pos.att’ denotes ‘positive attitude; ‘neg.att’ denotes ‘negative attitude’; neutral attitude is not marked. The definition for each variant here is a literal translation of its dictionary definition (Dictionary of the National Institute of Korean Language 2008), while its emotional attitude is posited based on the author’s intuition (who is a native speaker of Korean) corroborated by empirical distributional facts such as compatibility with other expressives.
3.The positive emotional attitude of talkhom-ssapssalum-han in (10) is further supported by the oddity of the following example with a negative variant; it is due to the conflict with the inherent positive meaning of ‘romance’:
(i)
# tulkhum-ssupssulum-han
somewhat.bitter.sweet.neg.att-Adn
lomaynsu
romance
4.Thus the meaning of ETTs can be understood along the lines of predicates of personal taste like fun in the sense of Lasersohn (2009). One of the hallmarks of predicates of personal taste concerns the problem of faultless disagreement: “A: Kissing is fun. B: No, kissing is not fun.” The following example shows that such faultless disagreement is also possible with Korean ETTs:
(i)

Context: Kim and Lee are roommates. Kim likes Mrs. Park, an old lady next door, but Lee hates her. Mrs. Park baked an apple pie for them this morning, and they are discussing the taste of the pie:

Kim: phai-ka
pie-Nom
cengmal
really
tal-khom-hata.
savory.sweet.in.the.strong.sense.pos.att-Decl

‘This pie is really savory sweet.’

Lee: aniya,
no
tul-ccekcikun-hata.
slightly.sweet.in.unsavory/unpleasant.way.neg.att-Decl

‘No, it is slightly sweet in unsavory, unpleasant way.’

The crucial difference here is that, unlike predicates of personal taste, the faultless disagreement with ETTs concerns the meaning in another dimension, i.e. on the expressive level. On the semantic at-issue level, both speakers, Kim and Lee, assert the same fact that Ms. Park’s pie has a sweet taste. The disagreement concerns two speakers’ subjective perception of the emotive nature of the sweet taste.
5.One might wonder how the taste term can modify these variants for ‘guy’, but it is to some extent possible via the semantic extension from the meaning of ETTs. For instance, we can describe a person’s character as stingy with ccata ‘salty’.
6.Honorific attitude and emotional attitude have been treated together in the previous literature. It has been shown that honorific speech tends to be more emotionally constrained while non-honorific speech is more emotionally free in Japanese (Dunn 2010Dunn, Cynthia Dickel 2010 “Information Structure and Discourse Stance in a Monologic “Public Speaking” Register of Japanese.” Journal of Pragmatics 42: 1890–1911. CrossrefGoogle Scholar), and Japanese honorification has been analyzed as expressives along with other emotional kinds such as damn (Potts and Kawahara 2004Potts, Christopher and Shigeto Kawahara 2004 “Japanese Honorifics as Emotive Definite Descriptions.” Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 14: 235–254. CrossrefGoogle Scholar). As a reviewer points out, however, it is important to note that they do not always go hand in hand. One attempt to tease them apart is found in Yoon (2015) 2015 “Semantic Constraint and Pragmatic Nonconformity for Expressives: Compatibility Condition on Slurs, Epithets, Anti-honorifics, Intensifiers, and Mitigators.” Special issue on Slurs at Language Sciences 52: 46–69. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, which will be discussed in Section 4.4.

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