The structure of Korean prosody
The purpose of this thesis is to establish a theoretical framework of Korean prosody within which the correlation of the four major components stress/accent, rhythm, intonation and vowel length -- and their relationship with grammar, pragmatics, information structure and attitude are best described and explained. It is hoped that this thesis will contribute to the analysis of the prosody of other languages and eventually to the typology of prosody. In chapter 1, it is argued that Korean is a fixed stress language. The Korean Stress Rule is set up and syllable structure and stress shift in Korean are also discussed. In chapter 2, it is argued that Korean rhythm has a strong tendency towards stress-timing, and that the possible rhythmic patterns of a sentence are determined by the interaction between the rhythmic structure of the sentence, the scope of focus, and the speech tempo and style. The rhythmic structure of a sentence is assumed to be predictable by eight prosodic phrase structure rules. In chapter 3, the intonation system of Korean is established. It is argued that a tune consists of zero or more phrasal tones followed by one obligatory boundary tone, the latter conveying the greater part of the information conveyed by the tune. Nine boundary tones and four phrasal tones are set up. Intonation group boundary placement and the functions of the boundary tone are also discussed. In chapter 4, vowel shortening, both morphophonemic and phonetic, and compensatory vowel lengthening are investigated. It is argued that phonetic vowel shortening can be best described and explained in terms of accent placement. Finally, phonetic variations of vowel length are also discussed.