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Prosody in Spoken Korean

  • Korean Semantics
  • 2014, 44(), pp.119-139
  • Publisher : The Society Of Korean Semantics
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

Shin, Jiyoung 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The previous studies on semantics and syntax are mainly based on written language. As a result, semanticians and syntacticians do not seriously consider the prosodic aspects of language, which is not visible in written texts. However, as the prosodic aspects of language play an important role in spoken language, researchers who are interested in the spoken grammar, have to take account of the prosodic structure of the speech data. This paper aims to show how prosodic account can help to find some plausible answers to semantic and syntactic problems based on some empirical evidences by analysing the 46,529 entries of dictionary, spontaneous speech over 400,000 syllables, and 446 proverbs. The average number of intonational phrase is 7.2 syllables, which reflects working memory proposed by Miller(1994). Strikingly similar statistical results between spontaneous speech and proverbs are obtained. In addition, asymmetric use between short negation and long negation is observed by comparing the frequency of occurrence of negative sentence in casual dialogue, formal presentation, and a written report. Long negation tends to be more used in formal speech than in casual speech and more used in writing than in speaking. The reason why short negation is more used in speaking than in writing, appears to be related to the disambiguation of a negative sentence by prosody of speech.

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