The domains of laryngeal feature lenition effects in Chonnam Korean

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1994-01

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Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics

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This paper investigates the domain of two aspects of laryngeal features (voicing and voicing onset time) in the Chonnam dialect of Korean. In Korean, voiceless lenis stops, /p, t, k/, sometimes become voiced between voiced segments. Traditionally, this voicing has been discussed as occurring "within a word". Recently, Cho (1989) suggested that lenis stop voicing happens within a phonological phrase. To test this, utterances of various constructions (mostly from Cho 1989) were produced by three Chonnam speakers at three different tempi (slow, normal, fast) with three repetitions. An electroglottograph (EGG) was recorded simultaneously with an audio wave. The results show that word initial lenis stops were almost always voiced within the "accentual phrase" but not within the Phonological Phrase. A second experiment was run for the other laryngeal feature, VOT, to see whether the domain is an accentual phrase as in the case of lenis stop voicing or something else. One, two, or three-syllable words, where a test syllable [pha] was either at a word initial or medial position and phrase initial or medial position, were put in the frame sentence. Sixty four sentences were read with two different accentual phrasings. The result shows that VOT durations of [ph] are significantly different between word initial and medial as well as accentual phrase initial and medial. This suggests that there is a hierarchy of prosodic level in Chonnom Korean: a prosodic word and an accentual phrase.

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Working Papers in Linguistics, no. 43 (1994), 15-29.