Dept. of Linguistics, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024-1543
Stress in Korean (Seoul) has been controversial for many years: Some linguists believe there is word-level stress and others do not. Among those who believe that word-level stress exists, there has been controversy regarding its location: the first or second syllable (H. Lee, 1973), the secnd syllable (Huh, 1985), or the final syllable (Choi, 1935). Even through it has been shown that there is no fixed acoustic property of stress, researchers have found that stress is detectable based on duration, amplitude and F0 [Fry (1958), Lea (1977), Beckman (1986)]. By examining these prosodic features, this paper investigates whether there is stress in Korean and, if so, what its domain and location are. Words with a reiterated syllable, /na/ or /ta/, were uttered by native Seoul speakers in different prosodic positions. The preliminary results show that Korean stress is not a word-level but a phrase-level stress: The location of the stressed syllable depends on its position in an accentual phrase (Jun, 1993). In addition, the stress falls on either the first or the second syllable of the phrase depending on the number of syllables in the phrase, syllable weight, and the position of the phrase in the sentence.