The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

Current Issue

Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 24

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 24, No. 0, pp. 194-210
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2024
Received 27 Dec 2023 Revised 05 Mar 2024 Accepted 12 Mar 2024

Wh-so-ever 무조건문의 화용적 강조: 초점과 양보 효과

Strengthening effect of wh-so-ever unconditional: Interaction between focus and concessiveness
Arum Kang
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Linguistics, Chungnam National University, Tel: 42-821-6393 (

© 2024 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper investigates the semantico-pragmatic role of infix so combining with wh-ever unconditional. Specifically, we focus on the strengthening effect and concessive meaning induced by so in wh-ever unconditional. Based on Rawlins (2013) and Hong (2010), we analyze the dual role of so as a focus marker and a pragmatic illocutionary operator. As a focus marker, so generates an expanded set of alternative propositions in possible worlds. As an illocutionary operator, so establishes an ordered pragmatic scale having universal quantification. Consequently, this results in a heightened concessive effect and an intensified emphatic meaning. The contribution of current work lies in clarifying the meaning of infix so, which has not been previously explored in terms of the pragmatic aspect.

Keywords: infix so, wh-ever unconditional, focus marker, emphatic effect, concessive meaning, pragmatic illocutionary operator

1. Chierchia, G. 2006. Broaden your views: Implicatures of domain widening and the “Logicality” of language. Linguistic Inquiry 37, 535–590.
2. Chierchia, G. 2013. Logic in Grammar: Polarity, Free Choice, and Intervention. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
3. Dayal, V. 1997. Free relatives and ever: Identity and free choice readings. Proceedings of SALT 7, 99-116.
4. Fauconnier, G. 1975. Pragmatic scale and logical structures. Linguistic Inquiry 6, 353-375.
5. von Fintel, K. 2000. Whatever. Proceedings of SALT 10, 27-39.
6. Hamblin, C. 1973. Questions in Montague English. Foundations of Language 10, 41-53.
7. Heim, I. 1982. The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases. Doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA.
8. Hong, M. 2010. On addition, concession, and quantification: -to and -eto in Korean. Eoneohag 57, 165-191.
9. Irwin, P. 2014. So [totally] speaker-oriented: An analysis of “Drama SO”. Microsyntactic variation in North American English, 29-70.
10. Israel, M. 2011.The Grammar of Polarity: Pragmatics, Sensitivity, and the Logic of Scales. (Vol. 127). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
11. Kadmon, N. and F. Landman. 1993. Any. Linguistics and Philosophy 16, 353–422.
12. Kratzer, Angelika. 1977. What ‘must’ and ‘can’ must and can mean. Linguistics and Philosophy 1(3), 337-355.
13. Kratzer A. and J. Shimoyama. 2002. Indeterminate pronouns: The view from Japanese. In Y. Otsu, ed., The Proceedings of the Third Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics. Tokyo: Hituzi Syobo, 1-25.
14. Krifka, Manfred. 1995. The semantics and pragmatics of polarity items in assertion. Linguistic Analysis 15, 209–257.
15. Lauer, S. 2009. Free relatives with -ever: Meaning and use. [Manuscript]. Available online at
16. Rawlins, K. 2008. Unifying if-conditionals and unconditionals. Proceedings of SALT 18, 583-600.
17. Rawlins, K. 2013. (Un)conditionals. Natural Language Semantics 40(2), 111-178.
18. Stalnaker, R. 1978. Assertion. In P. Cole, ed., Syntax and Semantics 9: Pragmatics, 315–32. NY: Academic Press.
19. Stalnaker, R. 2002. Common ground. Linguistics and Philosophy 25, 701–21.
20. Tredinnick, V. 2005. On the Semantics of Free Relatives with -ever. Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA.
21. Zaeffere, D. 1987. Unconditionals, Master’s thesis, University of Munich, Munich, Germany.