때문

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Korean[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (ttaem) (slang contraction)

Etymology[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.
Particularly: “Sounds similar to Japanese ため, but probably coincidence?”

First attested in the Dictionnaire coréen-français (韓佛字典 / 한불자전), 1880, in the spelling ᄯᆡ문 (ttaemun). The word was presumably in circulation for some time before that, but may have been considered too colloquial for writing.[1] Further etymology apparently unclear.

In the spoken language, it largely displaced Early Modern Korean 까닭 (kkadak, cause), now used mainly in written language, which had itself displaced Middle Korean 젼ᄎᆞ〮 (Yale: cyènchó, “cause”) (> modern 전차 (jeoncha), now used for archaic effect).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [t͈ɛmun] ~ [t͈e̞mun]
    • (file)
  • Phonetic hangul: [/]
Romanizations
Revised Romanization?ttaemun
Revised Romanization (translit.)?ttaemun
McCune–Reischauer?ttaemun
Yale Romanization?ttaymun

Dependent noun[edit]

때문 (ttaemun)

  1. cause (almost always follows a noun or nominalized clause with the meaning of "because (of)", except in the conjunction 때문에 (ttaemune))
    때문 오늘 만날 같아.
    Il ttaemun-e oneur-eun mot mannal geot gata.
    Because of work, I don't think I can meet you today.
    남자친구 때문 남자 만나.
    Namjachin'gu ttaemun-e ttan namja-reul mot manna.
    I can't meet other guys because of my boyfriend.
    , 그렇기 때문 회사 주식 떨어지고 있어.
    Ne, geureoki ttaemun-e geu hoesa-ui jusig-i tteoreojigo isseo-yo.
    Yes, that company's stocks are failing because of that.
    베트남 공부하는 이유 베트남 동남아 국가 가장 발전 가능성 크다고 생각하기 때문입니다.
    Je-ga Beteunameo-reul gongbuhaneun iyu-neun Beteunam-i Dongnama gukga-deul jung gajang baljeon ganeungseong-i keudago saenggakhagi ttaemun-imnida.
    The reason I am studying Vietnamese is because I believe that Vietnam has the greatest potential for development among the countries of Southeast Asia.

Usage notes[edit]

In contemporary Korean, this dependent noun always appears either after a noun, or after a verb nominalized with (-gi). The usual constructions are [NOUN] 때문 (ttaemun-e, because of) and [NOUN] 때문이다 (ttaemun-ida, it is because (of)...), although other forms such as [NOUN] 때문으로 (ttaemun-euro) are still encountered.

Korean has several constructions to express causation, notably the postnominal dependent noun 때문 (ttaemun) and the verbal suffixes 니까 (-nikka) and 어서 (-eoseo). The connotations of 때문 (ttaemun), in comparison to the verbal suffixes, include:[1][2]

  • a stronger emphasis on the objective fact of the causal relationship
  • incompatibility with the imperative and exhortative moods, perhaps because of the above; even in interrogatives, the construction often has a connotation of confirming if the questioner's belief about the causation is correct
  • a degree of formality not present in the suffixes: 있기 때문에 (itgi ttaemune, because it is there) is more formal than 있어서 (isseoseo, because it is there).

Until perhaps the mid-twentieth century, it could also occur after the realis adnominal (-n) (and other derived adnominals such as (-neun), (-deon)), but this is now quaint and unusual, even ungrammatical. Hence 먹기 때문 (meokgi ttaemun-e, because I was eating) is strongly preferred over 먹는 때문 (meongneun ttaemun-e).

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 진정란 (2006), “'때문' 구성 이유 표현의 담화 문법 [The discourse grammar of ttaymwun causation constructions]”, in Eoneowa munhwa, volume 2, issue 2, pages 1—19
  2. ^ 유해준 (2006), “유사 기능의 한국어 문법 교육 내용 연구 − '아/아서, (으)니까, 기 때문에'를 중심으로”, in Eomun nonjip, volume 61, pages 515—538