This book describes and analyses the intonation of two morpho-syntactically equivalent sentence types in Seoul Korean: the so-called direct imperative (or command), and the indirect imperative (or suggestion). The Autosegmental-Metrical theory developed by
Pierrehumbert (1980), Beckman and Pierrehumbert (1986), Pierrehumbert and Beckman (1988), and Jun (1996; 1998) is used as analytical framework. Specifically, the book asks if the two sentence types are intonationally distinguishable, and if they are, how they are different. As part of this aim, it also examines how intonational tones are realised over units of different length in the two sentence types, and investigates the intonational phrase structure - the so-called accentual phrase structure - of the two sentence types.
The results show that the two sentence types are both similar and different in their intonational structure. They are similar in two ways. Both have the same accentual phrase structure, with two accentual phrases, and both permit of an orthogonal 'strength' dimension. Thus it is claimed that direct imperatives can differ in the authority conveyed, and indirect imperatives can differ in the degree of assertiveness conveyed. It is further claimed that both these orthogonal 'strength' dimensions are signalled by the same phonological mechanism: through the first high tone of the accentual phrase.
The two sentence types differ in three ways. They have different boundary tones: /HL%/ or /L%/ in direct imperative and /LHL%/ in indirect imperative, and the relationship between strong authority and weak authority in the direct imperative is categorical, while the relationship between strong assertiveness and weak assertiveness in the indirect imperative is gradient. Also, the indirect imperative has considerably longer duration on the final syllable than the direct imperative.