Presentation on theme: "1 The Merger of Non-High Front Vowels in Korean: Mission Accomplished David J. Silva & Wenhua Jin The University of Texas at Arlington"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Merger of Non-High Front Vowels in Korean: Mission Accomplished David J. Silva & Wenhua Jin The University of Texas at Arlington 2008 Meeting of the International Circle of Korean Linguistics Binghamton University / Cornell University June 2008
2 What’s Wrong with this Picture? 멍멍 ! 게 key vs. 개 kay
3 Evidence of the Front Vowel Merger KFL –* 게가 “ 멍멍 ” 라고 하지 ? –* 궨찮아요 ! (* 궨차나요 !) –* 언재 시작뒐까 ? Korean as L1 –“ 어이 에 ”vs.“ 아이 애 ” Korean ESL –“English has five front vowels: … [i] [ι] [e] [ε] [æ].”
4 Outline of the Talk Background Methodology Data Discussion Conclusion –The merger of 애 ay and 에 ey is complete … –… despite the fact that there are speakers who can differentiate the two. –The merger is another way in which Modern Seoul Korean differentiates itself from other dialects.
5 Background: 애 ay ~ 에 ey “throughout much of southern Korea … ay is distinguished from ey poorly, if at all. …” Martin 1992:25 “there is no phonemic distinction between [the two] in southern dialects…” Sohn 1999:156 “the distinction between /ay/ and /ey/ is considered an earmark of standard, Seoul speech,” but … “the distinction has been lost throughout much of the country south of Seoul,” thereby relegating differentiation to “old-time natives of the city.” Lee & Ramsey 2000:64 “the mid front vowel merger … display[s] a significant age variation but no significant variations in sex, class or style.” Hong 1988
6 The Research Question Is the merger of 애 ay and 에 ey complete? –To what extent do we still find age-based variation when it comes to differentiating between 애 ay and 에 ey?
7 Data Collection 1 63 participants from a larger study (n=83) Recorded in/around Seoul Fall 2004 Demographic Questionnaire –year of birth –education –etc. Consent (per IRB policies)
8 Data Collection 2 Controlled reading of pre-determined, randomly sequenced sentences on cards Five cycles (card shuffled each time) Five minimal pairs: – 개 ‘dog’vs. 게 ‘crab’ – 내 ‘my’vs. 네 ‘your’ – 배 ‘boat’vs. 베 ‘hemp cloth’ – 태 ‘form/figure’vs. 테 ‘hoop’ – 샘 ‘spring/well’vs. 셈 ‘calculation’ Frame: “ 이건 ______( 이 ) 라고 하죠.” n = 2506 tokens
9 Data Measurement Visual assessment of the vocalic steady state Two measurements in Praat –Frequency of the First Formant (F1) higher F1 = lower vowel lower F1 = higher vowel –Frequency of the Second Formant (F2) higher F2 = more front lower F2 = more back i a u F2 F1
10 Reference: American English i u ι e ε æ a
Widespread Merger of 애 and 에 Most speakers present no statistically significant differences in the mean values of F1 and F2 for 애 ay and 에 ey ( α=0.95) F2 difference? noyes F1 difference? no % 1 1.6% % yes % 3 4.8% % % 4 6.3% %
12 Height Merger: ΔF1 ay-ey ≈ 0 78% present no statistically significant differences in the mean values of F1 for 애 ay and 에 ey ( α=0.95) ΔF1 ay-ey = Mean F1 ay – Mean F1 ey ≈ 0 F2 difference? noyes F1 difference? no % 1 1.6% % yes % 3 4.8% % % 4 6.3% %
13 Undifferentiated ay ~ ey
14 Differentiated ay~ey: Females
15 Differentiated ay~ey: Males
16 ΔF1 ay-ey : No Age-Based Differences p = 0.15, R 2 = 0.034
17 No Other Sociolinguistic Differences Sex Educational Attainment Occupation Father’s Education Father’s Occupation Speech Training Importance of Clear Speech Self-Assessment of Clarity “Shibboleth”
18 Of the Residual Variation … … what category would it fall under (à la Labov)? Indicator? –Perhaps… no age stratificationbut… no apparent social stratificationand… stylistic variation (none for most speakers) Marker? –Not likely. No social variation No overt social interpretation Stereotype? –No. Not stigmatized. “Anti-Stereotype” or “Shibboleth”?
19 Other Dialects of Korean ay and ey remain distinct… –among Korean speakers from Jilin Province living in Beijing(Silva & Jin 2006) –among Korean speakers living in Shenyang, Liaoning Province (Jin 2008) –elsewhere? Further sociolinguistic research is merited, as casual perceptions may be clouded by the orthography
20 Implications Pedagogy: E K, K E Many sources persist in claiming that 애 ay and 에 ey are distinct: “False Positive Transfer” –One KFL website: “tense mid front unrounded ' ㅔ ' is similar to English 'e'” “open low front unrounded ' ㅐ ' is similar to English 'æ'” –EFL resources in Korea encourage students to equate English [æ] with Korean 애 English [ε] with Korean 에 –Pronunciation Guide of the 어린이 영어 그림 사전 (Children's English Picture Dictionary), p. 12: »æ 애 bag[bæg 백 ] »e 에 egg [eg 에그 ]
21 Implications 2 Transliteration as Tradition [i]peen 피인 [ι]pin 핀 [e]pane 페인 [ε]pen 펜 [æ]pan 팬 Decisions are often based on presuppositions regarding English orthography, and perhaps not on English pronunciation; prescriptive norms. Q: How would Korean 1 st and 2 nd graders render similar English words in han’geul?
22 Conclusions The merger of 애 ay and 에 ey appears to be complete in this community There are, however, speakers who can differentiate – shibboleth –Future Research: Stylistic Variation Do those who differentiate ay and ey in card-reading do so in casual speech? The merger may be specific to Seoul Korean, marking SK as distinct from other dialects
23 감사합니다 Korea Foundation Kyung Hee University, Division of English The University of Texas at Arlington, Faculty Development Leave Program “Viewers Like You”