Sound change rules


Senior Member
English - Northeast US
My question is for advanced learners of Korean (not native speakers, who do everthing unconsciuosly).

I'm new studying korean. I find the grammar easy, but sound change rules harder. I mean rules like "whenever a verb starting with sound A follows a word ending in sound E, the E-A combination changes to U." Looking ahead in the book, I think there are many to learn. This has me worried.

Which is more accurate for learners, 1 or 2 below?

1. there is a simple set of rules, that apply everywhere. Once you learn a fairly small number of them, it is like learning the korean alphabet: you know it and don't have to keep learning more.

2. there are lots of different rules, used in different places. As you learn new verb forms and other structures you keep having to learn new sound change rules. Maybe they are even irregular. Maybe the same pair of sounds gets different changes in different places. But in general, a lot of ongoing memorizing.

I am happy to hear any other ideas about this. Thank you.
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