Category:Consonant assimilation

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Consonant assimilation is when the bottom consonant of one character and the top letter of the next character interact so that one or both of them changes.

1. Re-syllabification

(a) Re-syllabification : 십오 /시보/

(b) No re-syllabification : 뱅이 /뱅이/

2. 받침 Simplification

(a) 구엌 /구억/

(b) 끝 /끋/

(c) 맛 /맏/

(d) 꽃 /꼳/

(e) 앞 /압/

3. Reinforcement ("tensification")

(a) Stop + ㄱ : 학기 /학끼/

(b) Stop + ㄷ : 먹다 /먹따/

(c) Stop + ㅅ : 각색 /각쌕/

(d) Stop + ㅈ : 녹저 /녹쩌/

(e) Stop + ㅂ : 밭벼 /받뼈/

(f) ㅎ + ㅅ : 좋습니다 /조씁니다/

4. Nasalization

(a) ㄱ + nasal : 한국말 /한궁말/

(b) ㄷ + nasal : 듣는 /든는/

(c) ㅂ + nasal : 법무 /범무/

(d) Nasal + ㄹ : 동립 /동닙/

(e) ㄴ + ㄹ across boundary : 테헤란-로 /테헤란노/

5. ㄹ Assimilation

(a) ㄹ + ㄴ : 실내 /실래/

(b) ㄴ + ㄹ : 신라 /실라/

6. Aspiration

(a) ㄱ + ㅎ : 북한 /부칸/

(b) ㅎ + ㄷ : 좋다 /조타/

7. Palatalization

(a) ㅌ + 이 : 같이 /가치/

(b) ㄷ + 이 : 곧이 /고지/

(c) ㄷ + 히 :닫히다 /다치다/

8. Intrusive 니은

(a) 받침 + ㅣ across boundary : 나뭇-잎 /나문닢/

(b) 색-연필 /생년필/

9. ㅎ 받침 dropping

(a) 좋아 /조아/

Rules Chart
↓Bottom letter ↱Next letter #
ㄱ+ㄲ ㄱ+ㄸ ㅇ+ㄴ ㅇ+ㅁ ㄱ+ㅃ ㄱ+ㅆ ㄱ+ㅉ ㄱ+ㅊ ㄱ+ㅋ ㄱ+ㅌ ㄱ+ㅍ
ㄷ+ㄲ ㄷ+ㄸ ㄴ+ㄴ ㄴ+ㅁ ㄷ+ㅃ ㄷ+ㅆ ㄷ+ㅉ ㄷ+ㅊ ㄷ+ㅋ ㄷ+ㅌ ㄷ+ㅍ
ㄹ+ㄹ1 ㄴ+ㅎ
ㄹ+ㄹ ㄹ+ㅎ
ㅂ+ㄲ ㅂ+ㄸ ㅁ+ㄴ ㅁ+ㅁ ㅂ+ㅃ ㅂ+ㅆ ㅂ+ㅉ ㅂ+ㅊ ㅂ+ㅋ ㅂ+ㅌ ㅂ+ᄑ

1. <ㄹ+ㄴ> is always /ㄹ+ㄹ/ and within a word, <ㄴ+ㄹ> becomes <ㄹ+ㄹ> as well. However, when <ㄴ+ㄹ> appears across two words as in <테헤란-로> the <ㄴ+ㄹ> becomes /ㄴ+ㄴ/. Therefore, <테헤란-로> is pronounced as /테헤란노/. This does not apply to words without batchim, so <노화-로> remains as /노화로/.

2. Also across word boundaries, <이> and <야, 얘, 여, 예, 요, 유> show strange behavior after a batchim. They become /니, 냐, 냬, 녀, 녜, 뇨, 뉴/ respectively. This is most famously seen in the word for colored pencil or crayon <색-연필> which is pronounced as /생년필/. This behavior does not apply to compound words without batchim, so <중화-요리> remains as /중화-요리/. This is known as "intrusive 니은." A similar phenomenon happens in the non-rhotic speakers in Boston, London, etc who will say "piano tuna" and "tuna fish," but re-insert the "r" in "the tuner is broken." They will go even further and hyper-correct, creating phrases like "Vodker on the rocks." Historically, modern Korean dropped all ㄹ and ㄴ before ㅣ,ㅑ,ㅒ,ㅕ,ㅖ,ㅛ,ㅠ. That's why the surname known as "Li" in China is "이" in Korea and why the root for female "niu" exists as "여". Words recenetly borrowed from Japanese or Chinese or English no longer have this restriction, hence you have "뉴스 (news)," but many speakers cannot begin a sentence with 뉴 and simply say "유스."

3. An easy way to remember the rule for palatalization (ㄷ+이=지, ㅌ+이=치, ㄷ+히=치) in words like 닫히다 and 같이 is to think of the English stock phrase "What'you doing?" which sounds like "Whatcha doing?" No one would pronounce "Matt used to live here" as "Machoo'sed to live here" but "Didja eat?" and "Don'tcha like it?" are familiar to most English speakers.

4. When a new word starts with ㅎ will aspirate the preceding consonant if it can. In other words, it makes it breathy. If you said "fake it" quickly, it would sound like "fay khit." When ㅎ is before a consonant it also makes it breathy and merges with that consonant. One exception is before ㅅ, where the ㅎ and ㅅ assimilate to a tense ㅆ (no aspirate ㅅ exists). The other exception is before ㄴ, resulting in ㄴ+ㄴ. ㅎ is completely dropped before a null consonant plus vowel <ㅇ> as in <좋아요> which is pronounced as /조아/.

5. No word ends in ㅎ, but the jamo itself is called <히읗> which is pronounced as /히읃/.

See Also

  • Korean Phonology for the KAEPS system
  • Korean phonology The consonant assimilation table here is inaccurate however. No amount of listening or reading has shown that ㅎ+ㄱ=ㄱ+ㅋ or that ㅎ+ㅅ=ㅅ+ㅆ. Books and resources put out by The National Academy of the Korean Language, KBS, Arirang, Yonsei University, Seoul National University, Dong-A, YBM, and Hollym all say that ㅎ+ㄷ=ㅌ and that ㅎ+ㅅ=ㅆ. No work, whether prescriptive or descriptive, indicates that ㅎ causes simultaneous aspiration and gemination in any position. 완벽하다 is 완벽하다 or 완벼카다 (no 완벽카다). 좋다 is 조타 (not 졷타). 좋습니다 is 조씀니다 (not 졷씁니다).

Pages in category "Consonant assimilation"

The following 14 pages are in this category, out of 14 total.