How to differentiate between the letters of same sounds, in writing?

BunnyEpp

New Member
Urdu andEnglish
I am just a beginner, I have just started learning Hangul and the part that I am more confused about is writing. There are so many sounds in Hangul that are similar to each other , How one can identify when to write which, I mean there are initial/middle/last rule to follow when we are pronouncing some letter but even when we follow this rule, there are sounds that are exactly like each other and it is difficult to guess which letter should be used.


like following examples, sometimes all letters given in example produce same sounds according to their placement, but how can I identify when to write which, when I haven't seen the word before and I need to write the word.

  1. like some times ㄱ and ㅋ sound same so when i need to write 'kha-da' how would I know that it is ㄱ and not ㅋ (and vice versa)?
  2. like wise, Also, when the letter ㅂ precedes ㄴ, it makes an ㅁ ("m") sound. So for example:
    if I need to write 입니다(Imnida) how would I know that I need to write a combination of ㅂ and ㄴ, and not ㅁ
  3. In some cases, ㅂ and ㅍ sound same

and so on.

and Most importantly some of the letters sound like 't' when they are placed in the end of the word, then how would we know that we are not supposed to write ㅌ but one of those letters?

I would really appreciate any and all help.
 
  • CharlesLee

    Member
    Korean
    1. This would be as in 착하다 when pronounced actually as 차카다 because of the liaison or rules in Korean.

    So basically, when ㄱ meets ㅎ afterwords, it ends to that.

    2. It's as the same as above No.1 question. when ㅂ positioned down comes before ㄴ it sounds naturally ㅁ

    because Koreans pronounce naturally and soft without stress very much just like in English.

    3. This would need that case because I cannot guess directly.

    The most important case also required that it be seen.
     

    BunnyEpp

    New Member
    Urdu andEnglish
    1. This would be as in 착하다 when pronounced actually as 차카다 because of the liaison or rules in Korean.

    So basically, when ㄱ meets ㅎ afterwords, it ends to that.

    2. It's as the same as above No.1 question. when ㅂ positioned down comes before ㄴ it sounds naturally ㅁ

    because Koreans pronounce naturally and soft without stress very much just like in English.

    3. This would need that case because I cannot guess directly.

    The most important case also required that it be seen.
    Thank you, Charles for the response.But this is exactly my query, i know the rules but how would I know that the sound that is being produced is because of some rule applied and, word contains the combination of some letters and not actually having a single letter;

    Like in the example#1 as I put "i need to write 'kha-da' how would I know that it is ㄱ and not ㅋ (and vice versa)?" means lets suppose I never have seen '가다 (go)' written in Korean and some one asks me to write it , how would I know that I have to start it ㄱ and not ㅋ? I might end up writing it as '카다 ' ....

    About #3 and the last point(Most important :) ) I read in the pronunciation initial/middle/final rules that ㅂ sounds ph/b/p and ㅍ sounds like ph/ph/p ; so my question is how would I recognize if the person is saying some word starting with 'ph' sound that I need to use ㅂ or ㅍ?like 밥


    Likewise, for 't' sound I read that there are 7 letters that when comes in the end of a word are pronounced like 't' instead of their original sound like ㅅ,ㅅㅅ,ㅊ,ㅊㅊ,ㅎ,ㄷ and ㅌ, so if I hear sound of 't' in the end how would I guess which letter to use?

    Hope now I have explained my confusion :)
     

    boomluck

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Unfortunately, I don't think there is an ultimate rule that can distinguish which one to use. It takes years even for natives to learn the correct words. What I had been taught during my early age of education was dictation. Teachers read a word or a sentence, and students write it down in their best guesses. If what they write is wrong, teachers correct them. It had been done until I got middle school.

    It will take a long time. Until then, one should make and correct mistakes. What you can do for now is to try your best choosing the most likely one. If you find some other ways, please let people know because that would be innovative. :)
     

    CharlesLee

    Member
    Korean
    Thank you, Charles for the response.But this is exactly my query, i know the rules but how would I know that the sound that is being produced is because of some rule applied and, word contains the combination of some letters and not actually having a single letter;

    Like in the example#1 as I put "i need to write 'kha-da' how would I know that it is ㄱ and not ㅋ (and vice versa)?" means lets suppose I never have seen '가다 (go)' written in Korean and some one asks me to write it , how would I know that I have to start it ㄱ and not ㅋ? I might end up writing it as '카다 ' ....

    About #3 and the last point(Most important :) ) I read in the pronunciation initial/middle/final rules that ㅂ sounds ph/b/p and ㅍ sounds like ph/ph/p ; so my question is how would I recognize if the person is saying some word starting with 'ph' sound that I need to use ㅂ or ㅍ?like 밥


    Likewise, for 't' sound I read that there are 7 letters that when comes in the end of a word are pronounced like 't' instead of their original sound like ㅅ,ㅅㅅ,ㅊ,ㅊㅊ,ㅎ,ㄷ and ㅌ, so if I hear sound of 't' in the end how would I guess which letter to use?

    Hope now I have explained my confusion :)

    1. You're confused between IPA and the spelling. It never sounds ambiguously between them. When writing ㄱ it's ㄱ, and for ㅋ it's ㅋ.

    But when we talk about phonemic change rules in Korean, that's different. There's no word for '카다' in Korean specially with its only form in writing, so

    don't need to consider it.


    However, only one case as far as I could remember at the moment would be "조카다." but for this actually 조카 is a noun in Korean as in a nephew or a

    niece in English. In addition, "족하다", a Korean verb pronounced completely as the same as

    "조카다." but this rule is distant from spelling. 부족하다 is the same rule applied but it's

    only about the pronounce because in writing spelling as I said there's no 카다 commonly.

    Such a rule pronounced -카다 is called abbreviation in Korean.

    자음축약(거센소리되기) Consonants abbreviation happens when the final consonants of one

    syllable

    meets following consonants.

    • 'ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ' + 'ㅎ' → [ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅊ]
    • 'ㅎ' + 'ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ' → [ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅊ]

    • 단모음 + 단모음 → 이중모음

    • 국화 → [구콰], 잡히다 → [자피다]
    • 낳다 → [나타], 않고 → [안코]






    2. Allophone

    P and Ph are the allphones of [p] in English. In Old English, [v], [ð], [z] were not Phoneme but allophones of /f/, /θ/, /s/ respectively.

    For example, old English word cnafa became below :

    Middle English: knafe, knave
    English: knave
    Scots: knave, knafe, knife

    We say that there is a p-phoneme, a b-phoneme, an f-phoneme, etc and cop, cob, cough, etc operate as distinct forms in modern English.

    Now you probably understood what I said at least a little.

    [p] and [ph] are both bilabial consonants. "T" and "p" were possibly pronounced exactly like in Modern English "turn" and "police" respectively, but it is also

    possible that they were pronounced unaspirated - like in Modern Dutch. They almost certainly were pronounced unaspirated at some point in or before the history

    of English; and since the modern descendants of one of the languages that Anglo-Saxon came from, Old Saxon, today are pronounced with unaspirated

    consonants, I am inclined to think that aspiration in English happened after arrival - which means at least for a time their "p" "t", and "c" were pronounced

    unaspirated in the Old English period. "Unaspirated" means that the excess puff of air that most Modern English speakers make when saying these consonants

    wouldn't be there. We use unaspirated "t" and "p" in "sting" and "spark" when speaking English, respectively (try put your hand in front of your face and first

    say"turn" and "police" - you should notice feeling a strongish puff of air; then say "sting" and "spark" - the puff of air should be much less). If you want to make

    sure you're pronouncing them unaspirated, you should hold a piece of paper close in front of your face, and first say normal English "t" and "p" - the paper will

    move because of the puff of air. Then say them again, trying not to say the extra puff of air. The paper should move barely at all if you say it unaspirated.

    So the Koreans keep pronouncing [p] and interchangeably when it come at the end of the phoneme.

    There is free variation in both Korean and English.

    COMMENTARY

    "When the same speaker produces noticeably different pronunciations of the word cat(e.g. by exploding or not exploding the final /t/),

    the different realisations of the phonemes are said to be in free variation."

    (Alan Cruttenden, Gimson's Pronunciation of English, 8th ed. Routledge, 2014)

    FREE VARIATION IN CONTEXT

    "
    Sounds that are in free variation occur in the same context, and thus are not predictable, but the difference between the two

    sounds does not change one word into another. Truly free variation is rather hard to find. Humans are very good at picking up

    distinctions in ways of speaking, and assigning meaning to them, so finding distinctions that are truly unpredictable and that

    truly have no shade of difference in meaning is rare."

    (Elizabeth C. Zsiga, The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)


    "For some speakers, may be in free variation with in final position (e.g. city [sIti, sItI], happy [hӕpi, hӕpI]). The use of final unstressed is most

    common to the south of a line drawn west from Atlantic City to northern Missouri, thence southwest to New Mexico."

    (Mehmet Yavas, Applied English Phonology, 2nd ed.Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)

    STRESSED AND UNSTRESSED SYLLABLES

    "There can... be free variation between full and reduced vowels in unstressed syllables, which also has to do with related morphemes. For example, the

    word affix can be a verb or a noun, and the form carries stress on the final syllable and the latter on the initial one. But in actual speech, the initial vowel of the

    verb is actually in free variation with schwa and the full vowel: /ə'fIks/ and /ӕ'fIks/, and this unstressed full vowel is the same as that found in the initial

    syllable of the noun, /ӕ'fIks/. This kind of alternation is probably due to the fact that both forms actually occur, and they are instances of two lexical items that

    are not just formally but also semantically closely related. Cognitively, when only one is actually evoked in a given construction, both are probably activated

    nevertheless, and this is the likely source of this free variation."

    (Riitta Välimaa-Blum, Cognitive Phonology in Construction Grammar: Analytic Tools for Students of English. Walter de Gruyter, 2005)


    Conclusion for question No.2 : In my opinion, seemingly, old or middle English speakers may have learnt Korean better than modern English ones.

    References for answer No.2 : The World's Largest Education Resource, wikibooks, wikipedia. These websites also referred to the original references written by linguistics and philologists.

    3. There are seven phonemic change rules in Korean. It's really hard to write them all here since I've described long enough as you could read so far.

    However, let me explain one thing , the phonemic system of the final consonants only pronounce as seven in Korean ; ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅇ

    as in [g],[n], [d], [l] or [r], [m], , [o],etc no matter which final consonants were written. For example,

    Notice [ ] is IPA , while former word is the correct spelling in writing.

    ㄱ, ㄲ, ㅋ turns into ㄱ.

    사각[사각], 깎다[깍따], 부엌[부억]

    ㄴ remains the same ㄴ.

    유인[유인]

    ㄷ, ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅎ pronounced only as ㄷ.

    닫기[닫끼], 밭[받], 옷[옫], 갔다[갇따], 낮[낟], 꽃[꼳], 히읗[히읃]

    ㄹ pronounced as ㄹ.

    말[말]

    ㅁ stays as the same as ㅁ.

    감[감]

    ㅂ, ㅍ pronounced as ㅂ but there's no difference along with free variation, which means Koreans don't pronounce as in Cob and Cop like in English, as I showed

    the examples above with the word Cat sound in English with the last consonant [t], or the example of middle English.

    밥[밥], 잎[입]

    ㅇ sounds the same ㅇ.

    강[강]

    There's no [t] sound in the final consonant but I guess you meant [t] sound as the same tongue position when it's ㄷ,ㅌ. [t] sound in Korean is clear

    when it met vowels as in
    TV [티비], tea [티], tick-tock[틱톡], talk [토크], 토끼[토끼] and so on.















     
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