Tonogenesis in early Contemporary Seoul Korean: A longitudinal case study

Title
Tonogenesis in early Contemporary Seoul Korean: A longitudinal case study
Authors
한성우
Keywords
Korean; Tonogenesis; F0; Voice onset time; Sound change
Issue Date
2013
Publisher
LINGUA
Series/Report no.
LINGUA ; Vol134 Startpage 62 Endpage 74
Abstract
A series of recent apparent time studies observed that Seoul Korean is undergoing a tonogenetic sound change whereby the VOT contrast between aspirated and lenis stops in phrase-initial position is being merged and the contrast between the stop categories is more reliably signalled by difference in F0 of the following vowel. This paper presents an instrumental phonetic study of aspirated and lenis stops in early 20th century Seoul Korean based on audio recordings of elementary school textbooks from 1935. The two speakers examined in the 1935 recordings are one 41-year-old male speaker and one 11-year-old male speaker. The data from the 1935 is also compared to the speech of the child speaker from 1935 re-recorded 70 years later in 2005 at the age of 81 to examine the change of a speaker’s speech over his lifespan. The results confirm that a tonogenetic sound change has been in progress over the last century or so in Seoul Korean; the 1935 adult male speaker relied almost exclusively on VOT difference for the stop contrast unlike Present Day Seoul speakers of comparable age and gender, who make use of both VOT and F0 cues to signal the stop contrast; the 1935 child speaker rely on F0 cue for stop contrast more than the 1935 adult in line with the general direction of sound change; the 1935 child speaker at the age of 81 in 2005 showed even more F0 differentiation than he did 70 years earlier showing that the speaker underwent change in the direction of community-level sound change over his lifespan. The study is significant in that this is the first longitudinal instrumental phonetic study of tonogenetic sound change.
URI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2013.06.002
http://dspace.inha.ac.kr/handle/10505/33320
ISSN
0024-3841
Appears in Collections:
College of Humanities (문과대학) > Korean Language and Literature (한국어문학) > Journal Papers, Reports(한국어문학 논문, 보고서)
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