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Auteur: Ponghyung LEE

Phonemization of Borrowed Sounds and the Impact of Neutralization on Contrats in Korean

Abstract/Résumé: This paper examines the validity of the conventional phonological idea that sounds that have a contrastive function are phonemes but it is not the case with allophones. Above all, every phoneme is not equal in terms of phonological contrasts as evidenced by defective distributions. For instance, the ban of syllable-initial velar nasal [ŋ], syllable-final [h], and word-final lax vowels like [ɪ], [ɛ], [ʊ] in English and German undermines contrasts of the concerned sounds with others. In this work, we try to present a solution to the difficulties resulting from the phoneme-allophone dichotomy in light of phonological contrasts. For this purpose, quantitative analyses of Korean relying on phonological entropy (uncertainty) are conducted, and the following elements are considered: word-initial laryngeal feature variation such as [s]~[s`], [t]~[t`], [tʰ]~[t], and [t`]~[tʰ], an imported consonant [f], the promotion from allophonic to partial-phonemic status of [ʃ], the quasi-merger of [e] and [ɛ], and syllable-final neutralization of alveolar obstruent consonants from six to three. The findings of our investigation are bi-fold: First, an influx of loanwords is apt to exert significant impact on the pattern of contrasts in a first language (L1) Second, it is mandatory to adopt the view that the cline of contrasts between sounds obviates the strait-jacket of phoneme-allophone dichotomy, and that contrasts between sounds in a language are constantly in flux. References Albright. 2008. Explaining universal tendencies and language particulars in analogical change. In Jeff Good (ed.) Language universals and language change. 144-181. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chomsky, Noam. 1964. Current issues in linguistic theory. The Hague: Mouton . Hall, Kathleen. 2009. A Probabilistic model of phonological relationships from contrast to allophony. Doctoral dissertation. Ohio State University-Columbus. Halle, Morris. 1959. The sound pattern of Russian. The Hague: Mouton. Joos, Martin. 1957. Readings in linguistics I. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. McCarthy, John. 2003. Phoneme, Oxford international encyclopedia of linguistics (2003)