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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Phonetics and Phonology of Word Level Phonology and its Interaction wtih Phrasal Phonology: A study of Korean in comparison to English Add Dissertation
Author: Eon-Suk Ko Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Pennsylvania, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2002
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonetics; Phonology;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Mark Liberman
Eugene Buckley
Rolf Noyer
William Poser

Abstract: This thesis investigates the following research questions: (1) Does Korean have a metrical structure? (2) If so, what are its acoustic correlates and how do they compare to English? (3) How does it interact with phrasal prosody? In addressing these issues, I first re-examine the identity of the so-called 'long' vowel in Korean, and argue that it is a phonetic duration derived from an underlying accent on surface. The phonological argument is based on a reanalysis of what has been traditionally called 'vowel shortening' phenomena in verb stems and compounds as 'stress shift'. I describe phonetic experiments to verify the proposed phonological analysis, where I compare the acoustic properties of the so-called 'long' and 'short' (i.e. stressed and unstressed) vowels of Korean. To compare the results with a well-known stress system, I describe a parallel experiment on English. I adopt the following two experimental methods: (1) The location of the target word is varied in three different prosodic positions. (2) The data are analyzed with two complementary methods: Direct Comparison Method (e.g. 'per' of 'perMIT' vs. 'PER' of 'PERmit') and Relative Comparison Method (e.g. 'per' of 'perMIT' vs. 'MIT' of 'perMIT'). The overall results suggest that both Korean and English adopt longer duration, higher fundamental frequency, and greater intensity for the stressed vowels. However they differ in the details: (1) Korean has a greater phrase final lengthening effect than English. (2) In Korean, the phrase initial rising tone overrides the effects of stress. (3) Pitch plays a more important role in English than in Korean. Finally, I investigate the phrasal prosody and show the following: (1) Intensification and focus use different phonetic cues (duration and pitch movement, respectively), but both of them respect metrical structure. (2) Vocative chant reflects the special status of the stressed syllable in duration and pitch. In the conclusion, implications of the proposed theory are discussed on the prosodic hierarchy of Korean and the prosodic typology.