South Korea 9

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 56

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/05/1963

PLACE OF BIRTH: Busan (but raised mostly in Seoul)

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Korean

OCCUPATION: teacher

EDUCATION: undergraduate

AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

She had been living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, for 10 months at the time of the recording.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

At the time of the recording, she had been receiving private coaching for one month to improve her pronunciation of English.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Kris Danford

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/11/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

OK, um, uh, you know, um, uh, there are a lot of South Korean students who just speak very – in a monotonous tone. Um, they are very shy to just speak like an American. So if I can just learn something about accent or intonation, maybe I can help them with it. So that’s my goal. And a lot of my students just learn the vocabulary from the book. They just read the word and memorize the meaning. So sometimes even, even when they know the word, they don’t know how to pronounce it. They give — they put an accent in a wrong way, a wrong place. So, yeah, I just have found that it can be very interesting for me to learn something about intonation and accent.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Kris Danford

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/11/2020

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

VOWEL CHANGES
The KIT lexical set sometimes shifts toward the vowel in FLEECE (for example, “kit,” “disease,” and “give”).
The FLEECE lexical set shifts to the vowel in KIT (for example, “fleece”).
The FOOT uses more rounding of the lips, shifting closer to the GOOSE lexical set (for example, “put” and “foot”).
The FORCE lexical set drops the r (for example, “form,” “normally,” and “for”).
The GOAT set sometimes remains /oʊ/. On occasion, she pronounces a word using /ɒ/ (as in “tone”).

R
Use of r-coloring is inconsistent. She sometimes uses no r-coloring on unstressed syllables and words (as in “HERself,” “washed HER face in a hurry,” “millionaire,” and “learn”). In other words (for example, “lettER,” “bird,” and “lawyer”), she does use r-coloring. Words in the FORCE lexical set seem to not use r-coloring (for example, “form,” “normally,” and “for”).

L
With some exceptions, velarized /l/ mostly shifts to a consonant r /ɹ/, with some retraction of the tongue (for example, “animal,” “felt,” “herself,” “sentimental,” “feel,” and “help”). Where /l/ precedes a vowel, it does not take on the r quality as the tongue makes contact with the alveolar (or post-alveolar) ridge, but there is still some retraction of the tongue (as in “letter” and “implied”).

Z
/z/ shifts to /ʒ/. A word like “zoo” shifts the initial consonant to the g sound in “mirage.”

TH
Voiced “th” /ð/ shifts to dentalized /d̪/ (for example, “bathe” and “that’s”).
Unvoiced “th”/ θ/ shifts to /s/ (as in “South”).

REDUCED USE OF SCHWA
The speaker tends to not use schwa where a native English speaker might. Instead she substitutes other vowels, defined perhaps by the spelling:
– Official (first syllable using /oʊ/)
– Animal (second syllable using /i/)
– American (third syllable using /i/)

CONSONANT CLUSTERS
Consonant clusters or combinations can be challenging for the speaker. Specifically, it is difficult to fully execute each consonant action without inserting a vowel in between. In words or phrases where there are consonants clustered together, there is sometimes a tendency to only fully pronounce the final consonant:
– In “right side,” “vet’s,” and “students,” the tongue tip doesn’t make full contact with the alveolar ridge for /t/, gliding into the /s/.
– On words like “huge” and “imagine,” we hear the tongue tip not making full contact with the alveolar ridge for the /d/. Instead of africate /dʒ/, we hear /ʒ/.
– On “much,” there is not fully plosive quality on the /t/, favoring the /ʃ/ instead of the africate /tʃ/.

In other circumstances, when a word or phrase requires a consonant cluster, we hear a schwa /ə/ being inserted between the consonant sounds:
– “managed”: schwa inserted between the /dʒ/ and /d/
– “just read” and “just learn”: schwa following the t

SPELLING INFLUENCES
The pronunciation of some words or syllables seems to be influenced by the English spelling and what might make sense looking at the letters:
– BecAUse (second syllable)
– ThOUght

STRESS ERRORS
In some words with emphasis on the penultimate syllable  (“diagnosis” and “penicillin”), emphasis shifts to the third-to-last syllable.

INTONATION
When the subject speaks Korean, she tends to utilize a slight upward inflection at the end of a thought. When she speaks English, she is working to modify this to incorporate a more “American” downward inflection, but it is still a noticeable quality, especially in the unscripted speech.

COMMENTARY BY: Kris Danford

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/11/2020

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