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Korean Linguistics

image of Korean Linguistics
ISSN 0257-3784
E-ISSN 2212-9731

<em>Korean Linguistics,</em> the journal of the International Circle of Korean Linguistics, publishes peer-reviewed, scholarly articles at the cutting edge of Korean linguistics, a field of growing importance in virtually all branches of linguistics (syntax, semantics, phonology, phonetics, sociolinguistics, discourse-pragmatics, historical linguistics). The scope of the journal extends to work on Korean linguistics in all of the subareas of linguistics. Emphasis will be given to articles on Korean of import to general and theoretical linguistics, but significant work on, for example, the history of Korean and the Korean writing system will also be considered for publication. Book reviews, remarks on special occasions, obituaries, etc. may be included.


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  • Perception of Contrast in Korean Loanword Adaptation
    • Authors: Gregory K. Iverson, and Ahrong Lee
    • Source: Korean Linguistics, Volume 13, Issue 1, 2006, pages: 49 –87
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    • Abstract. A number of modifications affect the sound structure of foreign words as they are bor-rowed into Korean. We consider specifically the adaptation of word-final stops, liquids, and voiceless as well as voiced coronal sibilants. The particular manifestation of these is shown to corre-late with the place they hold in the syllable structure of the recipient language rather than, as might seem to be the case, with either contrastive categories of the source language or allophonic qualities of the recipient. This discussion thus contributes to the continuing debate over the awareness that listeners may have of phonetic properties that are contrastive in the source language but redundant in the recipient (and hence presumably below the threshold of categorical perception), as well as vice versa, and it offers a unified view of the factors which appear to be at play in the phonological pro-cessing of both native words and loanwords. At base is a simple yet comprehensive principle of phonological perception: Phonetic representations are interpreted according to the salient perceptual categories of the listener's native language.
  • Theme-Prominence in Korean
  • Variation in Voice Onset Time for Korean Stops: A Case for Recent Sound Change
    • Author: David J. Silva
    • Source: Korean Linguistics, Volume 13, Issue 1, 2006, pages: 1 –16
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    • Abstract. Acoustic data elicited from 34 native speakers of Korean living in the United States pro-vide evidence for diachronic change in the voice onset time (VOT) of phrase-initial aspirated and lax stop phonemes. While older speakers produce aspirated and lax stops with clearly differentiated average VOT values, many younger speakers appear to have neutralized this difference, producing VOTs for aspirated stops that are substantially shorter than those of older speakers, and comparable to those for corresponding lax stops. The data further indicate that, within each age group, older speakers manifest sex-based differences in VOT while younger speakers do not. Despite this appar-ent shift in VOT values, the acoustic evidence suggests that all speakers in this study, regardless of age, continue to mark underlying differences between aspirated and lax stops in terms of stop closure and the fundamental frequency of the following vowel. It is concluded that the data point to a recent phonetic shift in the language, whereby VOT no longer serves as the primary cue to differentiate between lax and aspirated stops. There is not, however, evidence of any reorganization of the lan-guage as the phonemic level: the language's underlying lax ~ aspirated ~ tense contrasts endure.
  • Acoustic and Perceptual Similarities Between English and Korean Sibilants: Implications for Second Language Acquisition
    • Authors: Sang Yee Cheon, and Victoria B. Anderson
    • Source: Korean Linguistics, Volume 14, Issue 1, 2008, pages: 41 –64
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    • Abstract. Foreign accent has been assumed to be closely related to the degree of articulatory, acoustic and perceptual similarity between L1 and L2 sounds. This study examined cross-language acoustic and perceptual similarities between Korean and English sibilant fricatives: Korean [—tense] /s/ and [+tense] /s*/ vs. English alveolar /s/ and palato-alveolar /∫/. To determine acoustic similarity, two parameters were measured: duration and spectral peak frequency. A Same-Different (AX) discrimination task investigated listeners' perceived similarity judgments between pairs of sibilants. In most cases, the acoustic characterizations led to correct predictions about differences in listeners' perceptions. However, results showed several disparities between acoustic similarity and perceived similarity. These cases necessarily involve acoustic dimensions other than the two measured here; probable candidates are voice quality on a following vowel, and lip rounding, with its spectral lowering effects. Cases of mismatch between acoustic and perceptual characterizations are fruitful areas for examining additional acoustic characteristics that may be responsible for listeners' ability to distinguish sounds. Acoustic and perceptual characterizations in tandem provide the best method of establishing areas of difference between the sounds of different languages, and in turn of establishing ways to teach L2 sounds to learners.
  • A PALATOGRAPHIC INVESTIGATION OF PLACE OF ARTICULATION IN KOREAN CORONAL OBSTRUENTS
    • Authors: Victoria Anderson, Insung Ko, William O’Grady, and Miho Choo
    • Source: Korean Linguistics, Volume 12, Issue 1, 2004, pages: 1 –24
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    • Abstract. This study uses static palatography to determine articulatory positions for coronal obstruents, for five native speakers of Seoul Korean in their twenties. For four of the speakers, affricates are consistently articulated slightly further back on the teeth than stops. However, stops, affricates and fricatives all show contact patterns in the denti-alveolar region. These results may reflect a shift in place of articulation of affricates from post-alveolar to denti-alveolar, for younger speakers of Korean. Gender differences are not observed for contact patterns on the palate, but contact patterns on the tongue do vary with gender. Female speakers in this study use laminal articulations, while male speakers use apico-laminal ones. The plain-aspirated-tense distinction does not affect articulatory measures of place of articulation, or amount of tongue-palate contact, implying that the lax-aspirated-tense distinction need not necessarily involve concomitant place distinctions.
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