Voicing in intervocalic lax obstruents /p, t, k, c/ of Korean

  • Yun, Il-Sung (Dept. of English, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)
  • Published : 2000.09.01


There are two hypotheses with reference to voicing in Korean intervocalic lax stops /p, t, k/ and affricate /c/: (1) the phonologically voiceless lax stops /p, t, k/ and affricate /c/ are realised as voiced allophones in the intervocalic position; (2) the shorter the lax consonant, the higher the percentage of voicing. But the literature reveals that there are views rejecting or doubting them. To clarify these, an experiment was carried out, using a Sun Sparcstation, twelve native speakers of Korean and speech materials embedded in a sentence frame. The results showed that the extent of voicing in lax stops and affricate was too inconsistent to support the full voicing hypothesis, and shorter duration (faster speech) did not necessarily cause a higher percentage of voicing.