Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 289–317 | Cite as

The prosodic structure and pitch accent of Northern Kyungsang Korean

  • Jongho Jun
  • Jungsun Kim
  • Hayoung Lee
  • Sun-Ah Jun
Original Paper


This study investigates the underlying tonal pattern of pitch accent, tone interaction, focus effects, and the prosodic structure of Northern Kyungsang Korean (NKK) by examining tone-syllable alignment and the realization of pitch accent in different tonal/prosodic contexts. Based on quantitative data, we propose that the underlying tone of pitch accent is H*+L and that the left edge of a prosodic word is marked by a low boundary tone (L). Our observation, with respect to the tone interaction of different lexical classes, shows evidence in favor of the downstep/ upstep account [Kenstowicz & Sohn (1997) Focus and phrasing in Northern Kyungsang Korean. In P.-M. Bertinetto (Ed.), Certamen Phonologicum III, (pp. 137 -- 156). Torino: Rosenberg and Sellier. (Also in MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, 30, 25 -- 47, 1997)], as opposed to the H-tone deletion account (e.g., G. Kim (1988) The Pitch-accent System of the Taegu Dialect of Korean with Emphasis on Tone Sandhi at the Phrasal Level, PhD dissertation, University of Hawaii.). The data also indicate that surface representations of NKK are sparsely specified for tone. Most importantly, we found that the prosodic cue of focus differs depending on the location of the pitch accent within a prosodic word. We conclude that the prosodic goal of focus in NKK is in the pitch range expansion of the focused phrase, which is implemented by expanding the pitch range of the most prominent word within the phrase, regardless of whether it is the focused word or not.


Pitch Range Pitch Accent Prosodic Structure Tone Sandhi Prosodic Word 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jongho Jun
    • 1
  • Jungsun Kim
    • 2
  • Hayoung Lee
    • 2
  • Sun-Ah Jun
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsSeoul National UniversityGwanak-GuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.UCLALos AngelesUSA

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