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Philippine Normal University
National Center for Teacher Education
Taft Avenue, Manila
College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS, BILINGUAL EDUCATION, & LITERATURE
A
PHONETIC DESCRIPTION
OF
KOREAN LANGUAGE
In Partial Fulfilment
of the Requirements in
Ling502 (Articulatory Phonetics)
1st
Semester S.Y. 2012-2013
Submitted by:
Bernard M. Paderes
GS2012132657
Submitted to:
Dr. Gina O. Gonong
Faculty
October 2012
I. Introduction
The Korean language is spoken by approximately 72 million speakers. The current
population of South Korea is 45 million, whereas North Korea has 23 million. A
quarter of South Korea’s population lives in Seoul, the capital city, whereas in North
Korea, 2 million live in the capital Pyongyang. It is estimated that 7% of the Korean
population lives outside the Korean peninsula. The countries with considerable Korean
population are China (2 million), USA (1.9 million), Japan (700,000), and the Soviet
Union (500,000) (Sohn, 2001).
It is often said that Korean is a language isolate. However, Lee and Ramsey (2000)
suggest two hypotheses. First is the hypothesis that suggest that Japanese as its closest
sister language. The other one is the hypothesis that suggests that Korean as part of the
Altaic language family.
Before the 15th
century, Koreans used a system of writing called Idu, in which
Chinese characters were used as phonetic symbols rather than pictographic. However,
King Sejong created the Hangul alphabet. They were based on the Chinese pictographs
representing the parts of the vocal organs and heavenly bodies (Cho as cited in Lenski,
2000). Because of long centuries of Chinese influence, Korean contains Chinese
loanwords which make half of the lexicon.
According to Lee and Ramsey (2000) the Korean language is divided into six
regional dialects namely: Hangyong, Pyongan, Cholla, Kyonsang, Jeju, and the Central
dialect, which is spoken in Seoul and nearby cities. The LRP was born and raised in
Seoul which uses the dialect of the Central region.
The language resource person, Park Minhoo, is a 13-year old high school
student from Seoul, South Korea. He is currently studying in an international school in
the Philippines. He has been in the Philippines for almost ten months. Aside from
English, he could also speak a little Chinese (Mandarin) and Japanese.
II. Phonetics
A. Phonetic Chart
Consonants
Bilabial Alveolar Alveo-palatal Velar Glottal
Stops
vl p , pˀ ʰ t k , k , kˀ ʰ
vd b d g
Fricatives
vl s ʃ h
vd
Affricates
vl ʧ
vd ʤ
Nasals m n ŋ
Liquids
Lateral l
Trill r
Glides j w
Vowels
B. Phonetic Inventory
Consonants
Stops
1. [ pal ]ˈ - feet
2. [ p al ]ˈ ʰ - arms
3. [ 'b m ]ɛ - snake
4. [ k o ]ˈ ˀ - nose
5. [ ' o.k a ]ʧʔ ʰ - nephew
6. [ ka.s m ]ˈ ɯ - chest
7. [ g ]ˈ ɛ - dog
8. [ 'il.ta ] - read
9. [ 's .da ]ɯ - write
Fricatives
1. [ 's ]ɛ - bird
2. [ ' im. il ]ʃ ʃ - bedroom
3. [ 'hal.m .ni ]ǝ - grandmother
Affricates
1. [ ' aŋ.mun ]ʧ - window
2. [ ' ip˺ ]ʤ - house
Nasals
1. [ m ri ]ˈ ǝ - head
2. [ nun ]ʹ - eyes
3. [ ' oŋ.a.ri ]ʤ - legs
Liquids
1. [ pul ]ˈ - face
2. [ 'so.rap˺ ] - drawer
Approximant
1. [ 'j . a ]ǝ ʤ - girl/woman
2. [ 'sa.hw ]ɛ - history
Vowels
Front
1. [ 'i.mo ] - auntie
2. [ 'ke.gu.ri ] - frog
3. [ 'mal ] - horse
Central
1. [ 'j ŋ.ŋ ]ǝ ǝ - English language
Back
1. [ nun ]ʹ - eyes
2. [ n ŋ.' aŋ.go ]ɛ ʤ - fridge
3. [ 'mu.r p ]ɯ - knee
III. Summary
Based on the data gathered, the dialect spoken in the Central region has 21
consonant phonemes and 7 vowel phonemes. It is an interesting observation that
their stops and affricates are mostly voiceless. The plosives sounds occurs at three
places of articulation (bilabial, velar and alveolar). The allophonic variants of
voiceless bilabial plosive seem to have three allophonic variants which seem to be
significant enough to change the meaning of an utterance as for words such as [ p alʰ
] which means arms in contrast with [ pal ] which means feet. Also, it seems that
when a plosive sound occurs as a syllable final, it is often unreleased.
It could also be observed that there are only 3 fricatives at three places of
articulation (alveolar, alveo-palatal, and glottal), quite limited compared to English
which has 9.
The affricate sounds are the same with the English language. They occur at
alveo-palatal area. Like in English, they could also be voiceless or voiced.
The three nasal sounds occur at three places of articulation, too ( velar nasal
occurs a lot, but, like in English, it does not occur as a syllable initial. Also, the
affricates are the same as in English that they are produced at the alveo-palatal area.
Finally, there are also occurrences of the lateral and retroflex alveolar, as well as
the alveo-palatal and velar glides. It was also observed that the retroflex alveolar
sounds like a trill.
As for the vowels, the Korean language has 7 monopthongs: / i, a, , , o, u,ɛ ǝ
and . From these, it could be observed that they have limited number of vowels,ɯ
with only 3 front vowels sounds, 1 central vowel sounds, and 3 back vowel sounds
that seems to be concentrated on high-back area of the mouth. However, the
occurrence of the secondary close-back vowel / / is interesting because it doesɯ
not occur in English.
IV. References
Jun, Sun-Ah. (1993). The Phonetics and Phonology of Korean Prosody. Doctoral
Dissertation. Ohio State University.
Lee, Iksop and Ramsey, Robert. (2000). The Korean Language. Albany: SUNY Press.
Lee, Ki-Moon and Ramsey, Robert S. (2011). The History of Korean Language. UK:
Cambridge University Press.
Lenski, Daniel. (May 5, 2000). The Phonetics of Korean. Retrieved August 28. 2012
from http://myxo.css.msu.edu/danimal/academic/The_Phonetics_of_Korean.pdf
Sohn, Ho-Min. (2001). The Korean Language. UK: Cambridge University Press.
Wilson, Jennifer. (2008). Phonetics of Korean. A Course Project. State University of
New York at Buffalo. Retrieved August 28, 2012 from
http://s3.amazonaws.com/zanran_storage/www.acsu.buffalo.edu/ContentPages/42530262.p
df
Wright, Stephen. March 13, 2010). Korean Language Study. Retrieved September 4,
2012 from http://www.wright-house.com/korean/korean-language.html
Foreign Translations. (2012). Korean Language History. Retrieved August 28, 2012
from http:/www.foreightranslations.com/languages/koren-translation/Korean-language-
history
V. Appendices
A. Language Data
A. Parts of the Body
Transciption English
[ m .ri ]ʹ ǝ head
[ 'm .ri.ka.rak˺ ]ǝ hair
[ nun ]ʹ eyes
[ nun.sop˺ ]ʹ eyebrows
[ k o ]ʹ ˀ nose
[ ip˺ ]ʹ mouth
[ hj ]ʹ ɔ tongue
[ i ]ʹ teeth
[ kwi ]ʹ ears
[ pul ]ʹ cheeks
[ k˺. k ]ǝ ʹ ˀɛ shoulders
[ p al ]ʹ ʰ arms
[ sun.ka.rak˺ ]ʹ fingers
[ son ]ʹ hands
[ ka.s m ]ɯ chest
[ pæ ]ʹ stomach
[ h .p . i ]ʹ ǝ ǝ ʤ thigh
[ 'mu.r p ]ɯ knee
[ ' oŋ.a.ri ]ʤ legs
[ pal ]ʹ feet
B. Inside the House
Transcription English
[ ' ip˺ ]ʤ house
[ 'mun ] door
[ ' aŋ.mun ]ʧ window
[ 'pa.dak˺ ] floor
[ ' im. il ]ʃ ʃ bedroom
[ 'hwa. aŋ. il ]ʤ ʃ bathroom
[ 'pu.w k˺ ]ǝ kitchen
[ ' n. aŋ ]ʧǝ ʤ ceiling
[ 'saŋ. om ]ʤ stove
[ ' k.saŋ ]ʧɛ table
[ ' i. a ]ɯ ʤ chair
[ ' aŋ.loŋ ]ʧ cabinet
[ 'pj k˺ ]ʔǝ wall
[ s n.'p uŋ.gi ]ǝ ʰ electric fan
[ 'n ŋ.' aŋ.go ]ɛ ʤ fridge
[ ' k. aŋ ]ʧɛ ʤ bookshelf
[ 'so.rap˺ ] drawer
[ 'k .ul ]ǝ mirror
[ ' p˺. i ]ʧǝ ʃ plate
[ ' an ]ʧ cup
C. At School
Transcription English
[ 'hak˺.kjo ] school
[ 'il.ta ] read
[ 's .da ]ɯ write
[ 's t˺.ta ]ɯ listen
[ 'mar.ra.da ] speak
[ 'koŋ.bu ] study
[ ' i.hom ]ʃ test
[ ' k˺ ]ʧɛ book
[ 'kwa.hak˺ ] science
[ 'su.hak˺ ] math
[ 'sa.hw ]ɛ history
[ ' .mak ]ɯ music
[ ' .juk ]ʧɛ physical education
[ 'mi.sul ] art
[ 'j ŋ.ŋ ]ǝ ǝ English language
[ 'h ŋ.gu.ko ]ɯ Korean language
[ 's n.s ŋ.nim ]ǝ ɛ teacher
[ 'kjo. aŋ ]ʤ principal
[ 'h ak˺.s ŋ ]ʔ ɛ student
[ 'kjo. il ]ʃ classroom
D. Family
Transcription English
[ 'ka. ok ]ʤ family
[ 'j . a ]ǝ ʤ girl
[ 'nam. a ]ʤ boy
[ ' .gi ]ɛ baby
[ 'ha.ra.b . i ]ǝ ʤ grandfather
[ 'hal.m .ni ]ǝ grandmother
[ 'a.b . i ]ǝ ʤ father
[ ' .m .ni ]ǝ ǝ mother
[ 'a.d l ]ɯ son
[ 'tal ] daughter
[ 's a. on ]ʔ ʧ cousin
[ ' o.k a ]ʧʔ ʰ nephew
[ 'sam. on ]ʧ uncle
[ 'i.mo ] auntie
[ nam.'doŋ.s ŋ ]ɛ younger brother
[ 'hj ŋ ]ǝ older brother
[ 'hj ŋ. ]ǝ ʤɛ brothers
[ j .'doŋ.s ŋ ]ǝ ɛ younger sister
[ 'nu.na ] older sister
[ ' a.m ]ʤ ɛ sisters
E. Animals
Trancription English
[ 'g ]ɛ dog
[ 'ko.ja.ŋi ] cat
[ 'mal ] horse
[ 'so ] cow
[ 'tw . i ]ɛ ʤ pig
[ mul.'go.gi ] fish
[ 'mun.n ]ǝ octopus
[ 'h .ma ]ɛ seahorse
[ o.' iŋ.ŋo ]ʤ squid
[ 'saŋ.ŋo ] shark
[ 'sa. a ]ʤ lion
[ 'ho.ra.ŋi ] tiger
[ 'n k.t ]ɯ ɛ wolf
[ 'gom ] bear
[ 'gi.rin ] giraffe
[ 'ke.gu.ri ] frog
[ 'a.g ]ɔ crocodile
[ 'b m ]ɛ snake
[ 's ]ɛ bird
[ ' o.ri ]ʔ duck
B. Language Family Map
C. Language Resource Person
Ling 502   a phonetic description of korean language (report)

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Ling 502 a phonetic description of korean language (report)

  • 1. Philippine Normal University National Center for Teacher Education Taft Avenue, Manila College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS, BILINGUAL EDUCATION, & LITERATURE A PHONETIC DESCRIPTION OF KOREAN LANGUAGE In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements in Ling502 (Articulatory Phonetics) 1st Semester S.Y. 2012-2013 Submitted by: Bernard M. Paderes GS2012132657 Submitted to: Dr. Gina O. Gonong Faculty October 2012
  • 2. I. Introduction The Korean language is spoken by approximately 72 million speakers. The current population of South Korea is 45 million, whereas North Korea has 23 million. A quarter of South Korea’s population lives in Seoul, the capital city, whereas in North Korea, 2 million live in the capital Pyongyang. It is estimated that 7% of the Korean population lives outside the Korean peninsula. The countries with considerable Korean population are China (2 million), USA (1.9 million), Japan (700,000), and the Soviet Union (500,000) (Sohn, 2001). It is often said that Korean is a language isolate. However, Lee and Ramsey (2000) suggest two hypotheses. First is the hypothesis that suggest that Japanese as its closest sister language. The other one is the hypothesis that suggests that Korean as part of the Altaic language family. Before the 15th century, Koreans used a system of writing called Idu, in which Chinese characters were used as phonetic symbols rather than pictographic. However, King Sejong created the Hangul alphabet. They were based on the Chinese pictographs representing the parts of the vocal organs and heavenly bodies (Cho as cited in Lenski, 2000). Because of long centuries of Chinese influence, Korean contains Chinese loanwords which make half of the lexicon. According to Lee and Ramsey (2000) the Korean language is divided into six regional dialects namely: Hangyong, Pyongan, Cholla, Kyonsang, Jeju, and the Central dialect, which is spoken in Seoul and nearby cities. The LRP was born and raised in Seoul which uses the dialect of the Central region. The language resource person, Park Minhoo, is a 13-year old high school student from Seoul, South Korea. He is currently studying in an international school in the Philippines. He has been in the Philippines for almost ten months. Aside from English, he could also speak a little Chinese (Mandarin) and Japanese.
  • 3. II. Phonetics A. Phonetic Chart Consonants Bilabial Alveolar Alveo-palatal Velar Glottal Stops vl p , pˀ ʰ t k , k , kˀ ʰ vd b d g Fricatives vl s ʃ h vd Affricates vl ʧ vd ʤ Nasals m n ŋ Liquids Lateral l Trill r Glides j w Vowels B. Phonetic Inventory
  • 4. Consonants Stops 1. [ pal ]ˈ - feet 2. [ p al ]ˈ ʰ - arms 3. [ 'b m ]ɛ - snake 4. [ k o ]ˈ ˀ - nose 5. [ ' o.k a ]ʧʔ ʰ - nephew 6. [ ka.s m ]ˈ ɯ - chest 7. [ g ]ˈ ɛ - dog 8. [ 'il.ta ] - read 9. [ 's .da ]ɯ - write Fricatives 1. [ 's ]ɛ - bird 2. [ ' im. il ]ʃ ʃ - bedroom 3. [ 'hal.m .ni ]ǝ - grandmother Affricates 1. [ ' aŋ.mun ]ʧ - window 2. [ ' ip˺ ]ʤ - house Nasals 1. [ m ri ]ˈ ǝ - head 2. [ nun ]ʹ - eyes 3. [ ' oŋ.a.ri ]ʤ - legs Liquids 1. [ pul ]ˈ - face 2. [ 'so.rap˺ ] - drawer Approximant 1. [ 'j . a ]ǝ ʤ - girl/woman 2. [ 'sa.hw ]ɛ - history Vowels
  • 5. Front 1. [ 'i.mo ] - auntie 2. [ 'ke.gu.ri ] - frog 3. [ 'mal ] - horse Central 1. [ 'j ŋ.ŋ ]ǝ ǝ - English language Back 1. [ nun ]ʹ - eyes 2. [ n ŋ.' aŋ.go ]ɛ ʤ - fridge 3. [ 'mu.r p ]ɯ - knee III. Summary Based on the data gathered, the dialect spoken in the Central region has 21 consonant phonemes and 7 vowel phonemes. It is an interesting observation that their stops and affricates are mostly voiceless. The plosives sounds occurs at three places of articulation (bilabial, velar and alveolar). The allophonic variants of voiceless bilabial plosive seem to have three allophonic variants which seem to be significant enough to change the meaning of an utterance as for words such as [ p alʰ ] which means arms in contrast with [ pal ] which means feet. Also, it seems that when a plosive sound occurs as a syllable final, it is often unreleased. It could also be observed that there are only 3 fricatives at three places of articulation (alveolar, alveo-palatal, and glottal), quite limited compared to English which has 9. The affricate sounds are the same with the English language. They occur at alveo-palatal area. Like in English, they could also be voiceless or voiced. The three nasal sounds occur at three places of articulation, too ( velar nasal occurs a lot, but, like in English, it does not occur as a syllable initial. Also, the affricates are the same as in English that they are produced at the alveo-palatal area. Finally, there are also occurrences of the lateral and retroflex alveolar, as well as the alveo-palatal and velar glides. It was also observed that the retroflex alveolar sounds like a trill.
  • 6. As for the vowels, the Korean language has 7 monopthongs: / i, a, , , o, u,ɛ ǝ and . From these, it could be observed that they have limited number of vowels,ɯ with only 3 front vowels sounds, 1 central vowel sounds, and 3 back vowel sounds that seems to be concentrated on high-back area of the mouth. However, the occurrence of the secondary close-back vowel / / is interesting because it doesɯ not occur in English. IV. References Jun, Sun-Ah. (1993). The Phonetics and Phonology of Korean Prosody. Doctoral Dissertation. Ohio State University. Lee, Iksop and Ramsey, Robert. (2000). The Korean Language. Albany: SUNY Press. Lee, Ki-Moon and Ramsey, Robert S. (2011). The History of Korean Language. UK: Cambridge University Press. Lenski, Daniel. (May 5, 2000). The Phonetics of Korean. Retrieved August 28. 2012 from http://myxo.css.msu.edu/danimal/academic/The_Phonetics_of_Korean.pdf Sohn, Ho-Min. (2001). The Korean Language. UK: Cambridge University Press. Wilson, Jennifer. (2008). Phonetics of Korean. A Course Project. State University of New York at Buffalo. Retrieved August 28, 2012 from http://s3.amazonaws.com/zanran_storage/www.acsu.buffalo.edu/ContentPages/42530262.p df Wright, Stephen. March 13, 2010). Korean Language Study. Retrieved September 4, 2012 from http://www.wright-house.com/korean/korean-language.html Foreign Translations. (2012). Korean Language History. Retrieved August 28, 2012 from http:/www.foreightranslations.com/languages/koren-translation/Korean-language- history V. Appendices A. Language Data
  • 7. A. Parts of the Body Transciption English [ m .ri ]ʹ ǝ head [ 'm .ri.ka.rak˺ ]ǝ hair [ nun ]ʹ eyes [ nun.sop˺ ]ʹ eyebrows [ k o ]ʹ ˀ nose [ ip˺ ]ʹ mouth [ hj ]ʹ ɔ tongue [ i ]ʹ teeth [ kwi ]ʹ ears [ pul ]ʹ cheeks [ k˺. k ]ǝ ʹ ˀɛ shoulders [ p al ]ʹ ʰ arms [ sun.ka.rak˺ ]ʹ fingers [ son ]ʹ hands [ ka.s m ]ɯ chest [ pæ ]ʹ stomach [ h .p . i ]ʹ ǝ ǝ ʤ thigh [ 'mu.r p ]ɯ knee [ ' oŋ.a.ri ]ʤ legs [ pal ]ʹ feet B. Inside the House Transcription English [ ' ip˺ ]ʤ house [ 'mun ] door [ ' aŋ.mun ]ʧ window
  • 8. [ 'pa.dak˺ ] floor [ ' im. il ]ʃ ʃ bedroom [ 'hwa. aŋ. il ]ʤ ʃ bathroom [ 'pu.w k˺ ]ǝ kitchen [ ' n. aŋ ]ʧǝ ʤ ceiling [ 'saŋ. om ]ʤ stove [ ' k.saŋ ]ʧɛ table [ ' i. a ]ɯ ʤ chair [ ' aŋ.loŋ ]ʧ cabinet [ 'pj k˺ ]ʔǝ wall [ s n.'p uŋ.gi ]ǝ ʰ electric fan [ 'n ŋ.' aŋ.go ]ɛ ʤ fridge [ ' k. aŋ ]ʧɛ ʤ bookshelf [ 'so.rap˺ ] drawer [ 'k .ul ]ǝ mirror [ ' p˺. i ]ʧǝ ʃ plate [ ' an ]ʧ cup C. At School Transcription English [ 'hak˺.kjo ] school [ 'il.ta ] read [ 's .da ]ɯ write [ 's t˺.ta ]ɯ listen
  • 9. [ 'mar.ra.da ] speak [ 'koŋ.bu ] study [ ' i.hom ]ʃ test [ ' k˺ ]ʧɛ book [ 'kwa.hak˺ ] science [ 'su.hak˺ ] math [ 'sa.hw ]ɛ history [ ' .mak ]ɯ music [ ' .juk ]ʧɛ physical education [ 'mi.sul ] art [ 'j ŋ.ŋ ]ǝ ǝ English language [ 'h ŋ.gu.ko ]ɯ Korean language [ 's n.s ŋ.nim ]ǝ ɛ teacher [ 'kjo. aŋ ]ʤ principal [ 'h ak˺.s ŋ ]ʔ ɛ student [ 'kjo. il ]ʃ classroom D. Family Transcription English [ 'ka. ok ]ʤ family [ 'j . a ]ǝ ʤ girl [ 'nam. a ]ʤ boy [ ' .gi ]ɛ baby [ 'ha.ra.b . i ]ǝ ʤ grandfather
  • 10. [ 'hal.m .ni ]ǝ grandmother [ 'a.b . i ]ǝ ʤ father [ ' .m .ni ]ǝ ǝ mother [ 'a.d l ]ɯ son [ 'tal ] daughter [ 's a. on ]ʔ ʧ cousin [ ' o.k a ]ʧʔ ʰ nephew [ 'sam. on ]ʧ uncle [ 'i.mo ] auntie [ nam.'doŋ.s ŋ ]ɛ younger brother [ 'hj ŋ ]ǝ older brother [ 'hj ŋ. ]ǝ ʤɛ brothers [ j .'doŋ.s ŋ ]ǝ ɛ younger sister [ 'nu.na ] older sister [ ' a.m ]ʤ ɛ sisters E. Animals Trancription English [ 'g ]ɛ dog [ 'ko.ja.ŋi ] cat [ 'mal ] horse [ 'so ] cow
  • 11. [ 'tw . i ]ɛ ʤ pig [ mul.'go.gi ] fish [ 'mun.n ]ǝ octopus [ 'h .ma ]ɛ seahorse [ o.' iŋ.ŋo ]ʤ squid [ 'saŋ.ŋo ] shark [ 'sa. a ]ʤ lion [ 'ho.ra.ŋi ] tiger [ 'n k.t ]ɯ ɛ wolf [ 'gom ] bear [ 'gi.rin ] giraffe [ 'ke.gu.ri ] frog [ 'a.g ]ɔ crocodile [ 'b m ]ɛ snake [ 's ]ɛ bird [ ' o.ri ]ʔ duck B. Language Family Map