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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Academic Paper


Title: Neutral vowels in sound-symbolic vowel harmony in Korean
Author: Darrell Larsen
Institution: University of Delaware
Author: Jeffrey N. Heinz
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.ling.udel.edu/people/jeffrey-heinz
Institution: University of Delaware
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Korean
Abstract: The set of neutral vowels in the vowel-harmony pattern found in Modern Korean sound-symbolic words is traditionally considered to consist of two members: [i] and [ɨ]. Some authors have tentatively put forward the hypothesis that [u] and [y] are also neutral. A corpus study on the phonotactics of Korean sound-symbolic vowel harmony provides quantitative support both for the traditional understanding of [i] and [ɨ] as neutral vowels and for the tentative hypothesis that [u] and [y] are also neutral. Additionally, the corpus study reveals that vowels are neutral to different degrees. The vowel [a] is shown to be partially neutral, but unlike the other neutral vowels which are transparent, [a] is partially opaque. The distribution of diphthongs is also studied.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Phonology Vol. 29, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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