S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 39 Number 1/4 (2003)
A Phonetic Account of the Current Inventory and Ongoing Changes of Korean Diphthongs
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.39 No.4, pp. 809-838
- sound change ; diphthongs ; monophthongization ; perceptual factors ; coocurrence restrictions ; maximal difference ; sufficient
- This research attempts to explain the current inventory and ongoing monophthongizing changes of Korean diphthongs on the basis of Ohala's (1992; 1993) phonetic explanation models of sound change and restrictions on sound sequences. This paper claims that in the history of Korean, perceptual
factors have played an important role in the selection and shaping of diphthongs. To support this argument, perceptual distances between the component segments of all the combinationally possible diphthongal sequences of Korean are calculated. It is shown that the seven least acoustically-modulated and perceptually-salient diphthongal sequences are either nonexistent in the diphthongal inventory or presently undergoing monoph-thongization in Korean. This paper also shows that the phonetic, perceptual account of diphthongal cooccurrence restrictions in Korean is more effective and principled than the OCP-based phonological account.