S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 37 Number 1/4 (2001)
English Loanword Phonology in Korean
- Lee, Hyoeun
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.37 No.1, pp. 177-200
- The purpose of this paper is to provide a fonnal account for the
realization of English loan words in Korean. Our main concerns are the
realization of laryngeal features of English obstruents in Korean, which can
be summarized as follows. First, English aspirated onset obstruents are
realized identically in Korean, e.g. /k"i/ -> [khi] 'key'. Second, voiceless
unaspirated stops after /s/ in English are also realized as aspirated in
Korean, e.g. /strcs/ ---> [sithircsiJ 'stress'. Third, English word-final
unreleased stops become aspirated or unreleased ones in Korean, e.g. /rop/
-> [rophi] 'rope', /bUk/ -> [pUk'] 'book'. Fourth, English voiced obstruents in
a word-initial position are consistently realized as voiceless unaspirated
ones, e.g. / gcep/ -> [kcp'] 'gap'. Finally, English voiced obstruents in a
word-final position become either voiceless or voiced ones in Korean, e.g.
/khlAb/ -> [khillap'] 'club', /bed! -> [PEdi] 'bed'.
Most previous researches on Korean loanword phonology (H. Kang 1996,
O. Kang 1996) simply state that the Korean phoneme inventory
automatically constrains these featural changes at the Perceptual Level, e.g.
English voiceless unaspirated / p/ is matched with voiceless aspirated [ph] in
Korean at the Perceptual Level. Only the vowel insertion is determined in
the Operative Level in which an Optimality Theoretic grammar is effective.
Thus, an intermediate level, i.e. Perceptual Level, is posited.
The present study proposes a perception-based analysis of English
loanwords in Korean within the framework of OptimaIity-Theory. The
realization of laryngeal features of English obstruents in Korean is captured
by the interaction of the markedness constraints prohibiting elements which
require articulatory effort and faithfulness constraints requiring to preserve
the input fonns. Specifically, faithfulness constraints such as MAX[ +long
VOT] play a crucial role in capturing simijarities in release prominence of
English and Korean stops and minimizing the differences between the
phonetic output of English and its corresponding loanword form in Korean.
We have shown that there are no intennediate levels between the input and its output in our analyses of English loan words.