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Title: Korean Phonology: A Principle-based Approach
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 12
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Author: Duck-Young Lee
Paperback: ISBN: 3895862207 Pages: 250 Price: Europe EURO 69.10
This book presents an attempt to investigate major issues in Korean phonology in terms of principles and elements, based on the framework of Government Phonology. It begins with an introductory section, describing central aspects of the framework, which include recent development in the theory with regard to the representation of ATR and coronals. An analysis of a wide range of data in Korean phonology is then provided. In dealing with data involving vowels, the study first discusses vowel harmony, which has traditionally been treated as the result of the harmonic opposition between ‘light vowels’ and ‘dark vowels’. It address some unsolved problems in previous analyses by proposing a phonological operation called ‘A-head alignment’. This will be followed by an element-based analysis of vowel coalescence and diphthongisation.
It will be shown that a phonological operation called ‘Nuclear Fusion’ and asymmetry in the spreading properties of the vocalic elements ‘I’ and ‘U’ in Korean have a crucial role in the analysis. The second half of the book is devoted to discussions of issues involved in consonantal clusters, such as tensification, lenition, nasalisation and vowel epenthesis, etc. It outlines the mechanisms as to under what conditions these phenomena take place and how each phenomenon is connected to each other. These mechanisms will be discussed in conjunction with the possibility that consonantal clusters may occur in two onsets that are separated by a nuclear position which does not contain any phonetic realisation (i.e. an empty nucleus). The important point is that onsets surrounding an empty nucleus are in a governing relation (i.e. interonset government) in Korean, and an intervening empty nucleus maintains its null status during derivation if the surrounding two onsets form the governing relation. Tensification and neutralisation are manifestations of interonset government, while the failure of the government results in vowel epenthesis or nasalisation.