Phonetic variation in the Korean liquid phoneme

Drew Crosby, Amanda Dalola


Most discussions of the Korean liquid phoneme /l/ identify two allophones: a flap, [ɾ], in the onset of syllables, and an alveolar lateral approximant syllable-finally and in geminates. However, some research paints a more complex picture indicating a wide range of interspeaker variation for the precise articulatory realization of these allophones. The present research finds that in regards to the tap and laterals realizations previous descriptions are largely correct. It also affirms through analysis of F2 values that previous findings showing that the Korean lateral is palatalized before high front vocoids are correct. Most importantly, it analyzes F3 values to show that the retroflex variant is particularly prevalent near pauses, suggesting that retroflexion may be a secondary cue to prosodic boundaries.


Korean; lateral; F3; retroflex; palatal; liquid

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Copyright (c) 2021 Drew Crosby, Amanda Dalola

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