The development of aspiration in Sino-Korean and relative phonological strength
Namgui Chang 张南基
In this study, the historical development of the aspiration contrast is examined based on a comparative analysis of Sino-Korean morphemes and their Middle Chinese cognates. The distributional asymmetry of the aspiration feature in the initial obstruents of Sino-Korean morphemes is interpreted as revealing a gradual phonemicization process which began with the dental obstruents at the time of the massive infusion of Chinese loan morphemes. This process then affected the labial stops, and finally the velar stops. Relevant phonetic and phonological data across languages and the language-internal trends are compared to show that the above asymmetry reflects both some phonetic universals and the relative phonological strengths among three different places of articulation affecting various phonological processes in the history of Korean.
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Journal of Chinese Linguistics volume 9 (ISSN 0091-3723)
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