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Word order in Korean Language

What is a feature of Korean language as agglutinative language?

Korean language often called an language of the Altaic languages, as Turkish, Tungus and Manchu.

Korean language has a feature of an agglutinative language, because, it has vowel harmony(모음조화) and first initial sound law(두음법칙), and it doesn't have relative pronoun(관계대명사) and conjunction(접속사).

What is a distinct feature of word order in Korean Language?

Each Language has a bit different way to construct a sentence.
Generally, A language can be divided into three types as following.

Subject + Predicate(Verb) + Object (SVO)
Subject + Object + Predicate(Verb) (SOV)
Predicate(Verb) + Subject + Object (VSO)

The word order of Korean language is 'Subject + Object + Predicate', and
The language which has this kind of feature are Japanese, Mongolian, Turkish, Myanmarese, Hindi.

And the language which has a type, 'Subject + Predicate + Object' are English, Chinese, Finnish, Italian, Thai, Norwegian.

And the language which has a type 'Predicate + Subject + Object' are Hebrew, Maori, Welsh.

The grammatical elements of Korean language always follow a stem of word(어간) or a root of word(어근). in other words, a particle(조사) is attached to a noun, and 어미(ending of word) used at the rear of 동사(verb) or 형용사(adjective).

아이-가 사과-를 먹-는다.

Partice(조사), '가' which indicates subject(주어) and particle, '를' which indicates object(목적어) are used to attach after each noun '아이' and '사과'. And ending(어미) which ends the sentence, '-는다' is attached after '-먹', stem of verb, '먹다'. and so, we are able to know that the array of general constituent of sentence of Korean is 'subject(아이가) + object(사과를) + predicate(먹는다)'.

And another feature is that a modifier always comes before/precedes a modificand.

가. 푸른 하늘에 큰 비행기가 날아갑니다.
나. 꽃이 매우 아름답습니다.

In 가, the adjective '푸른' and '큰', each modifies noun '하늘' and '비행기' at the front of it. And in 나, the adverb '매우' modifies the adjective '아름답습니다' at the front of it.

Like this, in Korean, the modifier appears before the word which is modified. But in French, a word which modifies a noun can be placed before or behind a noun. And in English, a relative clause always has to follow a noun, and a adverb follow a verb in general.




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    And aside from this, a feature of the word order of Korean is that the part of constituent of sentence moves freely in a sentence.

    a. 손님이 집에 왔다.
    b. 집에 왔다, 손님이.
    c. 왔다, 손님이 집에.
    d. 집에 손님이 왔다.

    As above, the basic meanings of which every sentence conveys are not much different. It is common to write as (a) or (d), though, when we emphasize a special part, we can change the word order as (b) or (c).

    But not any of them can move the position freely.

    (1) a. 그는 그림을 잘 그린다.
    b. 그는 잘 그림을 그린다. (X)

    (2) a. 오늘 나는 새 구두를 신었다.
    b. 오늘 나는 구두를 새 신었다. (X)

    (3) a. 어제 내가 받은 소포는 영희가 보낸 것이다.
    b. 소포는 어제 내가 받은 영희가 보낸 것이다. (X)

    (4) a. 그는 아들을 의사로 만들었다.
    b. 그는 의사로 아들을 만들었다. (X)

    In the adverbs, a adverb which modify whole sentence moves freely. But in (1), as '잘', the adverb which modify a particular element(predicate) cannot move freely in the sentence.

    And, as (2) and (3), '새', the prenoun(관형사) modifies '구두' or '어제 내가 받은, the adnominal phrase which modifies '소포' has to be placed before the modificand,

    As (2-b), (3-b), if their position move, they are not correct sentences. besides, as (4), in a special type of sentence, 'noun-로' cannot move from its original place.

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