[KS] Long vs short vowels in verb and adjective conjugations
sa_ewing at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 22 21:24:55 EDT 2007
Dear KS List members:
Thank you to Dr. King and one off-list correspondent for your replies. The gentleman off-list also quotes from Samuel E. Martin's _Reference Grammar of Korean_ (pp 523-524):
"Dictionaries list the abbreviation as hāy and that is the prescribed pronunciation of the 1988 rules of the Ministry of Education. Since the form usually appears in a position where the distinction of vowel length is not maintained, here we write it as short in all positions."
Between that and Dr. King's handy rule of thumb, I would extrapolate that 되다 would theoretically behave in an analogous manner, although it has been pointed out that the long vowel may be disappearing from 돼, if not from 해.
So this brings up another question...when I started learning Korean, I was oblivious to the distinction between long and short vowels, and do not recall seeing any mention of the distinction in any of the many beginners' texts I used. (Perhaps not taking a proper course was the problem!). Presumably the matter is discussed at the intermediate level, at least? Is it not considered essential for beginning Korean learners to know? Or is non-coverage of long vowels an artifact of that pedagogical spectre, "Korean for foreigners"?
Or as my correspondent suggested, could the distinction be vanishing in modern Korean? Yet, practical experience indicates that one of the reasons people misunderstand me when I speak Korean is because I inadvertently shorten long vowels, or for that matter, deintensify unmarked intensified consonants (e.g., 한자 /hanqca/, 결정 /kyelqceng/)--both features that are not shown in Korean writing and also seem to get omitted in beginning-level language texts, but which lead to mispronunciation if neglected.
--Forwarded Message Attachment--From: jrpking at interchange.ubc.caTo: koreanstudies at koreaweb.wsDate: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 23:15:00 -0700Subject: Re: [KS] Long vs short vowels in verb and adjective conjugationsHi Stefan: You sort of answer your own question, but the easiest way to do it this: vowel length is only distinctive in standard Korean in first syllables. So once a form that otherwise has a long vowel in first-syllable position gets pushed out of that first-syllable slot, bye-bye vowel length. Cheers, --Ross KingProfessor of Korean, University of British Columbiaand Dean, Korean Language Village, Concordia Language Villages
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