1

수사 in Korean is a different part of speech with 명사,used for numberic words. ex) 하나,첫째
But as far as I can think, 수사 is only one form of 명사, which is similar to noun in English.
Is 명사 defined in Korean and noun defined in English different?
If it is different and numberic words are classified as 수사, whyis the reason?

2
  • 1
    This blog post could help. 의미 기준 means semantic criteria; 기능 기준, functional criteria. Both 수사 (수 대명사) and 명사 belong to 체언. – Klmo Dec 8 '19 at 14:52
  • @Klmo Thanks. But the blog post you linked was explaining that numberic words are classified as 수사, and my question is about why numberic words are classified as a different part of speech with normal nouns. – dissolve Dec 8 '19 at 16:11
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It is not wrong to think so, because they have similar properties. There have been several ways to classify Korean words (ref.); some of them seem to agree with your view. The current Korean textbooks and standard dictionary, however, separate 수사 from 명사.

One point I would like to mention first is that 첫째 is 수사, 관형사, and 명사; 하나 is 수사 and 명사. I will show you examples for 첫째 only:

수사

  • 첫째, 귀를 열어라. 둘째, 입을 열어라. (first / firstly)
  • 내가 달리기 시합에서 첫째로 들어왔다. (first place)

This 첫째 is an adverb or a noun (phrase) in English, which is one reason you should not expect a one-to-one match between similar terms in two different languages.

관형사

  • 아버지는 첫째 아이를 더 좋아하신다. (the first child)
  • 나는 매월 첫째 주 금요일에 친구와 만난다. (the first week)

This 첫째 is an adjective that modifies the following 체언.

명사

  • 첫째들은 동생을 잘 돌봐야 한다. (firstborns)
  • 동화는 첫째로 어린이가 읽기 쉽게 써야 한다. (first of all / before everything else)
  • 우리 첫째는 무엇을 좋아할까? (firstborn)

This 첫째 is a noun that is not an ordinal number.

명사 and 수사 are different in meaning and usage (refs. 1 and 2). The main differences are the following:

  • 명사(名詞) refer to names of things or people (名 means a name); 수사(數詞) refer to carnidal or ordinal numbers only (數 means a number). For example, 일(一/壹) is 수사 (and 관형사), but 일월(一月) is 명사.

  • In general, 관형어 (관형어 includes 관형사, 형용사, 명사, 대명사, ...) cannot modify 수사, whereas they can modify 명사.

  • Unlike 명사 and 대명사, 수사 cannot be pluralized using a suffix (-들, -네, or -희).

In addition, 수사 closely relate to 수 관형사. They have similar or the same forms; it is easier to explain 수 관형사 with 수사. Therefore, the separation between 명사 and 수사 is meaningful.

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