The theoretical pursuit section represents a systematic theoretical attempt to develop a Korean transitivity model based on the grammatical characteristics of the Korean language. This section, as will be elucidated in the applied pursuit section, lays the foundation for a detailed transitivity analysis of Nalgae, a canonical Korean short story. Discussion in this section is dedicated mostly to process because it normally serves as a point of reference for any transitivity analysis. Process is explicated by type, with simple-yet-useful examples cited whenever necessary. The other components of transitivity, namely participant and circumstance, are also dealt with in this section, but participant by its very nature is described in conjunction with process and the attendant circumstance is explained only briefly at the end of the section.
Based on the Korean transitivity model presented in the theoretical pursuit section and on the existing transitivity model of English, the applied pursuit section conducts a comparative analysis of the characterizations of the protagonist in Nalgae (ST) and its three English translations (TT1, TT2 and TT3). For this analysis, four thematically important sections of Nalgae (Demonstrations 1 to 4) were selected based on literature on the short story, and in each Demonstration one ST passage and two TT passages are analyzed in transitivity terms to show whether there are different characterizations of the protagonist.
In the empirical pursuit section, the findings of a reader-response questionnaire survey are presented to confirm that the outcomes of transitivity analysis shown in the applied pursuit section are generally in line with the real readers’ mental construction of the protagonist. For this verification, three slightly different questionnaires—Questionnaire A for a Korean-English bilingual group, Questionnaire B for another Korean-English bilingual group and Questionnaire C for a native English-speaker group—were constructed in a way that crosschecks each group’s responses. The respondents were asked to read several ST and TT passages for comparison and to answer multiple-choice questions about “I”-characterization and open-ended, clarification questions.