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CHAT: Korean "double consonants" and all that

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 8, 2000, 22:07
Hey, saw your homepage and it's a lot better than mine. (And it's neat
and simple; I can't stand schmaltzy graphics-heavy webpages; I'm an
ultra-slow modem and an even slower early Pentium.) Anyway, I'm gonna try
my hand at learning Korean, and I'm also working on ideas and characters
for a hybrid fantasy/sci-fi RPG. I was also interested in your mention of
anime, religion, being born in Texas...

I've read two different descriptions of Korean. One said the "double
consonants" (ssangkiyeok, ssangtikeut, ssangsios etc. -- I like that term
"double strength") were glottalized (ejective I guess) variants of their
"single" counterparts -- but the other source specifially described them
as "tense" and not glottalic! (And the IPA symbols they used included the
consonant plus an apostrophe. Now I AM confused.) I'll have to listen to
the sound files, except I have trouble hearing glottalism.

So my question is: when does "glottalized" not mean "ejective" (besides
voiced implosive consonants, of course)?

Also, if anybody read my description of Quaelitz (I'm thinking of
changing the name to Q until I come up with a better name , I mentioned
that North Caucasian "geminates" (I probably should've said "long
consonants" or "fortis", "tense" whatever) gave me trouble, then I came
up with an idea. Q has six laryngeals, and the three glottal consonants
can be linked to voiced, voiceless and ejective stops/affricates (and
voiced and voiceless fricatives), so I filled in the gaps with
pharyngealized versions of the other three; hence six stops/affricates
per buccal articulation, or consonants in 2-D. (3-D if you consider
palatization and labiovelariation.)

I too used to live in Austin, TX, and there was a woman on public access
who had bible studies in Korean (she mixed some English in there if I
remember right.) She was from Korean Presbyterian Church in Austin. She
was using some sound that resembled the pharyngeal fricatives of Arabic.
Since Korean doesn't have pharyngeal consonants, I'm wondering if either
that's what she meant by "tense" consonant, or am I hearing a different


On Tue, 7 Nov 2000 09:39:15 -0500 Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...> writes:
> On Tue, 7 Nov 2000, D Tse wrote: > > > >Korean, in Roman transcription, has pp, tt et al. in initial > position (as > > >well as medial), but the pronunciation isn't clear to me. > > > > That represents a glottalised consonant (constricted throat?) in > Korean I > > think.