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AATK Members' New Book Publication - The Comparative Syntax of Korean and Japanese

2023-12-20 00:46

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Center for Korean Studies at Binghamton University would like to share with you the publication of the following book by CKS Director, Sungdai Cho.

The Comparative Syntax of Korean and Japanese by Yutaka Sato and Sungdai Cho

Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

  • Offers a detailed comparison of Korean and Japanese morphosyntax
  • Provides extensive examples to illustrate each of the phenomena under discussion
  • Explores not only morphosyntactic but also pragmatic and sociolinguistic considerations


Yutaka Sato is a Visiting Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at the International Christian University in Tokyo. His research explores Japanese linguistics, the morphosyntax of Japanese and Korean, and second language acquisition. Alongside articles in journals such as Japanese & Korean Linguistics and Child Language, he is the co-author, with Margaret Yamashita, of the textbook Nihongo: Introductory Japanese.

Sungdai Cho is Professor of Korean and Linguistics and Director of the Center for Korean Studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He works in the areas of syntax and morphology, and on language pedagogy for Korean. He is the co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Korean Linguistics (CUP, 2022), and co-author of Korean: A Linguistic Introduction (CUP, 2020), both with John Whitman, and of articles in journals such as Japanese & Korean Linguistics and Language Research.

Book Description

This book provides a detailed survey of Korean and Japanese syntax from a comparative perspective, based within a generative framework. Yukata Sato and Sungdai Cho demonstrate that while the two languages exhibit remarkably similar morphosyntactic features, they behave differently in specific types of construction, with the main differences observed in genitive marking, sentence negation, Negative Polarity Items, the formation of causatives, and passivization. The book also explores pragmatic and sociolinguistic issues in the two languages, and shows that they differ in the perception and realization of 'givenness' as a topic marker and in the influence of relationships of power and distance on the use of honorifics. The authors further offer additional context by exploring the typological relationship between Japanese and Korean and the surrounding languages such as Ainu, and the Chinese and Altaic languages, as well as providing socio-cultural and historical background.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    2. Japanese and Korean
    3. Writing systems
    4. Case and postpositions
    5. Topic and focus
    6. Word order and scrambling
    7. Passives and causatives
    8. Relative clauses
    9. Nominalization
    10. Negation
    11. Tense and aspect
    12. Honorifics

For more information about the new book, please find the link below:



Center for Korean Studies

Binghamton University



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