LINGUIST List 15.1

Wed Jan 7 2004

Diss: Phonetics/Phonology: Ko: 'The phonetics...'

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  1. esko00, The phonetics and phonology of word level phonology...

Message 1: The phonetics and phonology of word level phonology...

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 17:10:42 -0500 (EST)
From: esko00 <>
Subject: The phonetics and phonology of word level phonology...

Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Eon-Suk Ko 

Dissertation Title: The phonetics and phonology of
word level phonology and its interaction with phrasal phonology: A
study of Korean in comparison to English

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: Phonology, Phonetics 

Subject Language: Korean (code: KKN), English (code: ENG)

Dissertation Director 1: Mark Liberman
Dissertation Director 2: Eugene Buckley
Dissertation Director 3: Rolf Noyer
Dissertation Director 4: William Poser

Dissertation 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.
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