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Generative phonology of Korean : lexical feature redundancy rules

Generative phonology of Korean : lexical feature redundancy rules
Lee, Hei-sook
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대학원 영어영문학과
이화여자대학교 대학원
The purpose of the present paper is to expose a fragment of the phonological system of Korean in the framework of generative grammar. Since the emergence of Chomsky’s Syntactic Structures^1 in 1957, a continuing effort has been made to supplement the generative theory itself, and the practical applications to particular languages have pointed to both the necessary modifications of the theory and the revisions of techniques of description. It was in 1963 when Fodor and Katz wrote an article on the semantic component^2 that the general direction of semantics given in Syntactic Structures became specific in term of methodology and the correlations between syntactic component and the semantic component. This new insights into the semantic component has finally been integrated into a general theory, and Kazt and Postal’s 1964 publication shows its result. In 1965, Chomsky’s work titled Aspects of the Theory of Syntax^4 was put out as a cumulative in the sense that he put in a comprehensive form all the modifications of the theory and the descriptive principles so far developed since the emergence of his work in 1957. It was mainly due to Praguian Roman Jakbson’s descriptive methodology ^5 that the transformationalists adapted to fit into their framework for the phonological theory and descriptions in generative theory. The Jakobsonian distinctive feature framework has been elaborated mainly by Chomsky and Halle to make it appropriate for the generative theory and particular grammars^6. I am not going to attempt to expand the philosophical background or theoretical justifications for the generative theory. For this purpose I would rather call our attention to the published works in the light of the theory^7. As for the various aspects of the phonological theory, I suggest that we refer to Halle’s articles. The part of the phonological system of Korean which is the main concern of this paper is not exhaustive in any sense. This paper is to deal with rather a small fragment of the Korean phonological system to largely show the invalidity of the structural phonemics and to display the adavantages of the generative phonology in terms of Jakobsonian distinctive features over structuralism. For this, I attempt to present the theoretical fallacies of the structural phonemics in the first place. And following this will be presented the phonological matrix of Korean to show how phonology begins to work in a generative grammar. In my opinion, however, the presentation of the phonological matrix is not a simple matter in a description of a language. The problems relating to the ‘descriptive economy’ will come into picture. In the particular case of Korean, there arise a few problems in this sense which I believe have not been yet settled down in the scholarship of the Korean language. To the extent that I can handle these problems, I intend to attempt to show my solutions for them in the light of generative grammar. After the presentation of the matrix, I am trying to formulato the so-called ‘ redundancy rules’ both of ‘feature redundancy’ and of ‘morpheme structure redundancy.’ The illustrative materials and examples in this paper will be mainly derived from English, and some from Russian. The transcriptions for the languages other than Korean will follow the original forms in the text from which I illustrate them. For the transcription one caution is necessary. In the following sections of this paper are presented linguistic forms in ‘phonetic’ transcription. However, these trascriptions in conventional phonetic or phonemic symbols are used only for the convenience on the part of the readers to facilitate them to see what the matter under consideration is. In all other cases, the phonological forms are represented in distinctive feature matrices. To recapitulate, the conventional phonetic symbols stand for ‘abbreviations’ of the ‘bundle of distinctive features’ in the sense of sound ‘ segments.’ Again, the conventions of slant lines (/ /) and brackets ([ ]) in this paper are not used for the structural phonemic and phonetic transcriptions, respectively. Rather, as will be explained presently, the symbols between slant lines represent the ‘systematic phonemic’ representations, and the symbols between brackets, all the phonological representations other than the systematic phonemic including the ‘systematic phonetic’ representations, which are derived from the systematic phonemic by the application of the phonological rules (for some, the phonological rules are not necessary at all, Cf., ‘delight’ on page 32). The abbreviative phonological symbols which I will use for the transcriptions of Korean will be shown in the distinctive feature matrix in Chapter II. One more precaution is necessary in that in the representations of ‘segments’ in terms of the distinctive features, the ‘brackets’ enclosing the feature nomenclatures are not to be taken for in the same sense as the brackets mentioned above.
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