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Academic Paper


Title: Neutral vowels in sound-symbolic vowel harmony in Korean
Author: Darrell Larsen
Email: click here TO access email
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.

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