Mechanisms of contrasting Korean velar stops: a catalogue of acoustic and articulatory parameters


  • Jana Brunner
  • Susanne Fuchs
  • Pascal Perrier
  • Hyeon-Zoo Kim



The Korean stop system exhibits a three-way distinction in velar stops among /g/, /k'/ and /kh/. If the differentiation is regarded as being based on voicing, such a system is rather unusual because even a two-way distinction between a voiced and a voicless unaspirated velar stop gets easily lost in the languages of the world especially in the case of velar stops. One possibility for maintainig this distinction is that supralaryngeal characteristics like articulators' velocity, duration of surrounding vowels or stop closure duration are involved. The aim of the present study is to set up a catalogue of parameters which are involved in the distinction of Korean velar stops in intervocalic position. Two Korean speakers have been recorded via Electromagnetic Articulography. The word material consisted of VCV-sequences where V is one of the three vowels /a/, /i/ or /u/ and C one of the Korean velars /g/, /k'/ or /kh/. Articulatory and acoustic signals have been analysed It turned out that the distinction is only partly built on laryngeal parameters and that supralaryngeal characteristics differ for the three stops. Another result is that the voicing contrast is not a matter of one parameter, but there is always a set of parameters involved. Furthermore, speakers seem to have a certain freedom in the choice of these parameters.






Brunner, Jana, Susanne Fuchs, Pascal Perrier, und Hyeon-Zoo Kim. 2003. „Mechanisms of Contrasting Korean Velar Stops: A Catalogue of Acoustic and Articulatory Parameters“. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 32 (Januar):15-30.