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Clinical Archives of Communication Disorders > Volume 6(2); 2021 > Article
Lee and Park: Acoustic characteristics of resyllabification process in Korean

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze acoustic characteristics of Korean words and nonwords according to resyllabification and meaningfulness.

Methods

The experimental data consisted of 10 homonyms and 10 corresponding words. Computerized Speech Lab (CSL) 4150B was used in a quiet place for recording. Moreover, the randomized word list was presented to 20 subjects, and they were asked to read naturally as if they were talking comfortably to the subjects. The analysis program was Praat 6151 win 64bit (Boersma & Weenink, 2021). Pitch, intensity, and duration of the words and the first and the second syllables were measured, and the resyllabification liaison rules and resyllabification influenced them. To investigate acoustic characteristics according to resyllabification, independent sample t-test and multivariate test were conducted using SPSS 26 for the statistical processing of a syllable’s pitch, intensity, and duration changes.

Results

First, there was a significant difference between the groups in post-syllable pitch ratio in words and nonwords, which was 40s–50s pitch change was greater than that of 20s–30s. Second, the post-syllable pitch ratio was a significant difference between gender groups and according to the effect of the liaison rule. Third, the post-syllable duration ratio showed a significant difference between age groups. The post-syllable pitch ratio was a significant difference according to the effect of the liaison rule.

Conclusions

Therefore, when resyllabifications are generated by the liaison rule, the change of the post-syllable pitch can be explained by the focus prosody, and further research will be needed to establish a solid basis for this study.

INTRODUCTION

The phonological phenomenon in Korean is caused by the speed of words and rhythm patterns, and the utterance speed prosodic phonological phenomenon is related [1]. Syllabification is the bundle of phonemes in one unit, and they are very distinct linguistic units of Korean. The resyllabification occurs by liaison rule. This phenomenon occurs due to the simultaneous articulation of adjacent phonemes and the simplification of articulation in order for the speaker to communicate quickly and efficiently. Resyllabification occurs in the prosodic and syntactic structure by the liaison rule, which confuses writing.
Resyllabification refers to a phonological phenomenon in which the consonants at the end of the previous syllable are transferred to the initial phoneme of the following syllable phonetically, and the syllables component is changed [2]. Resyllabification is a phonological phenomenon commonly observed in everyday or slightly faster dialogues. This phenomenon also occurs when young students who begin to learn spelling write as they listen to them or when people who have not received average education write letters or other words as they pronounce them [2]. CVC is the largest syllable in Korean, and the phonemes at the end position of the syllable are limited and have various constraints [3]. Syllable nuclei and CV rules are universal in language, and the rules of the ending phoneme of syllables apply specifically to each language [4]. The resyllabificationliaison rule can explain the resyllabification in Korean, and all the syllable-final consonants of Korean are subject to the liaison rule. However, the phoneme /ŋ/ is not applied, which can be realized phonologically and phonetically only at the final position of the syllable. As such, the liaison rule changes the position of the end and changes the sound to the phonetics. The voiceless consonants /ㅂ, ㄷ, ㄱ/ at the end of the syllable are changed to the voiced sound [b, d, g] while becoming the initial syllable sound in the word. Finally, /ㄹ/ at the final position of the syllable changes from a lateral [l] to the alveolar flap [ɾ] phonetically. This study aims to analyze acoustic characteristics of Korean words and nonwords according to resyllabification and meaningfulness.

METHODS

Subjects

The subjects were educated at a university or higher and possessed neither articulation nor cognitive disorder. Twenty subjects participated in this experiment. They were 10 people in their 20s to 30s and 10 people in their 30s to 40s. The information of the subjects was presented in Table 1.

Procedure

The word and nonword list used in the experiment was selected by researchers in the homophonic nonword list of Park (2003)[5] as the meaning of the corresponding word as a high-frequency word. The experimental data consisted of 10 homonyms and 10 corresponding words. The list of words was presented in Table 2.
The experimental process was as follows. First, the experimental space was a quiet place where voice recording was possible, and the recording equipment was Computerized Speech Lab (CSL) 4150B. Second, the randomized word list was presented to the subjects, the most natural speech samples were collected without practice, and they were asked to read naturally as if they were talking comfortably to the subjects. Third, the distance between microphone and mouth was about 10–15 cm during recording.

Analysis

The recording was done three times, the first recording was excluded, and the most stable sample was selected in the second and third. The analysis program was Praat 6151 win 64bit [6]. Pitch, intensity, and duration of the words and the first and the second syllables were measured, and the resyllabification liaison rules and resyllabification influenced them. When the word consisted of 3 syllables, the first and second syllables of the word were measured separately and combined. During measuring, speech samples were labeled after the researchers listened three times in the spectrogram. Then, the ratio of each syllable’s acoustic variable to the entire two syllables in the word was converted and applied as a statistical analysis variable.

Data processing

To investigate acoustic characteristics according to resyllabification, independent sample t-test and multivariate test were conducted using SPSS 26 for the statistical processing of a syllable’s pitch, intensity, and duration changes.

RESULTS

Acoustic Characteristics in Homophones by Meaningfulness

Acoustic Characteristics in Homophones According to Gender

In the phonological homonym structure, the pitch, intensity, and duration ratio was presented in Table 3 according to gender in words and nonwords.
The pitch ratio and intensity ratio are similar to or slightly higher than the entire syllables, and the duration ratio accounts for around 50% of the entire syllables. In other words, the pre-syllable pitch ratio of the males was 98.03%, which was slightly higher than that of the females. In other words, the post-syllable pitch ratio of females was 101.39%, in which the pitch of post-syllable is higher than the whole word pitch. In nonwords, the pre-syllable duration ratio of females (47.18%) was higher than that of males (45.28%).
According to the results of Table 4, there was a significant difference between the gender groups in post-syllable pitch ratio in words and nonwords, in which the female’s pitch change was greater than that of male.

Acoustic Characteristics in Homophones According to Age

In the phonological homonym structure, the pitch, intensity, and duration ratio was presented in Table 5 according to age in words and nonwords.
In other words, the post-syllable duration ratio of those in their 40s–50s was 49.24%, which was longer than that of the 20s–30s group. In nonwords, the pre-syllable duration ratio of the 40s–50s group (45.88%) was higher than that of the 20s–30s group (39.63%). Also, in nonwords, the post-syllable duration ratio of the 40s–50s group (50.02%) was higher than that of the 20s–30s group (44.72%).
According to the results of Table 6, there was a significant difference between the age groups in the post-syllable pitch ratio in words and nonwords, in which the 40s–50s group’s pitch change was greater than that of the 20s–30s group.

Acoustic Characteristics in Resyllabification by Liaison Rule

Acoustic Characteristics in Resyllabification According to Gender

In the phonological homonym structure, the pitch, intensity, and duration ratio was presented in Table 7 according to gender for resyllabification by liaison rule.
In resyllabification by liaison rule. The post-syllable pitch ratio of females was 166.93%, which was higher than that of males. In syllabication without liaison rule, the post-syllable pitch ratio of females was 225.85%, higher than that of males.
According to the results of Table 8, there was a significant difference between gender groups and the effect of the liaison rule. There was no interaction between gender and the effect of the liaison rule.
Post-syllable pitch ratio was a significant difference between gender groups and according to the effect of liaison rule. Therefore, when resyllabification by liaison rule occurred, post-syllable pitch changed within a word like stress effect (Table 9).

Acoustic Differences in Resyllabification According to Age

In the phonological homonym structure, the ratio of pitch, intensity, and duration was presented in Table 10 according to age for resyllabification by liaison rule.
In resyllabification by liaison rule, the post-syllable pitch ratio of 20s–30s group was 150.21%, which was higher than that of the 40s–50s group (136.71%). Also, the post-syllable duration ratio of the 40s–50s group was 56.46%, which was longer than that of the 20s–30s group (50.14%). In syllabication without liaison rule, the pre-syllable duration ratio of the 40s–50s group was 49.50%, which was higher than that of the 20s–30s group (44.03%).
According to the results of Table 11, there was a significant difference between age groups and the effect of the liaison rule. There was no interaction between gender and the effect of the liaison rule.
Pre- and Post-syllable duration ratios had a significant difference between age groups. The post-syllable pitch ratio showed a significant difference according to the effect of the liaison rule. There was no interaction between age and the effect of the liaison rule (Table 12).

DISCUSSION

There was a significant difference between the gender groups in post-syllable pitch ratio in words and nonwords. A female’s pitch change was more significant than that of males.
Females produce more changes in pitch of the post-syllable than males. Female is associated with high-frequency output and dynamic rhyme changes in her spoken language, focusing on the post-syllable.
The post-syllable pitch ratio was a significant difference according to the effect of the liaison rule. Therefore, when resyllabification by liaison rule occurred, post-syllable pitch changed within a word-like stress effect. The more significant change of post-syllable pitch in the post-syllable shows the focal prosody. This is related to the study that F0 is the most dynamic prosody factor for focal prosody [7,8].
When resyllabification by liaison rule occurred, post-syllable pitch changed within a word-like stress effect. This is also related to focal prosody. When the focus prosody is local, the specific sentence component exhibits accent and pitch change [9].
Therefore, when resyllabification is generated by the liaison rule, the change of the post-syllable pitch can be explained by the focus prosody, and further research will be needed to establish a solid basis for this study.

Table 1
Subjects information
Division N Mean age SD
20s–30s M 5 27.40 5.78
F 5

40s–50s M 5 48.60 4.86
F 5
Table 2
Experimental words and nonwords
Division Corresponding words Homophonic nonwords
Resyllabification 독일 (togil, German) 젭이 (ʦjɛbi)
악어 (agʌ, crocodile) 촐옥 (ʦhorok)
석유 (sʌgju, oil) 굳우 (kudu)
먹이 (mʌgi, food) 곧응어 (kodɰŋʌ)
단어 (tanʌ, word) 반안아 (panana)

Syllabication 제비 (ʦjɛbi, lottery) 도길 (togil)
초록 (ʦhorok, green) 아거 (agʌ)
구두 (kudu, shoe) 서규 (sʌgju)
고등어 (kodɰŋʌ, mackerel) 머기 (mʌgi)
바나나 (panana, banana) 다너 (tanʌ)
Table 3
Acoustic changes in homophones according to gender
Division Index Gender N M SD
Word Pre-syllable pitch ratio M 100 98.03 12.80
F 100 96.07 12.57
Pre-syllable intensity ratio M 100 98.42 3.85
F 100 98.96 3.60
Pre-syllable duration ratio M 100 45.99 9.17
F 100 46.57 9.63
Post-syllable pitch ratio M 100 99.81 8.57
F 100 101.39 10.44
Post-syllable intensity ratio M 100 100.00 3.24
F 100 99.50 3.09
Post-syllable duration ratio M 100 50.75 9.73
F 100 51.84 14.83

Nonword Pre-syllable pitch ratio M 100 98.43 13.22
F 100 98.01 13.69
Pre-syllable intensity ratio M 100 98.65 4.19
F 100 99.66 2.95
Pre-syllable duration ratio M 100 45.28 11.71
F 100 47.18 12.45
Post-syllable pitch ratio M 100 99.74 9.85
F 100 100.59 11.31
Post-syllable intensity ratio M 100 100.08 2.82
F 100 99.13 3.39
Post-syllable duration ratio M 100 52.79 21.00
F 100 49.56 10.56
Table 4
Difference of acoustic changes in homophones according to gender
Division Index F p
Word Pre-syllable pitch ratio 0.001 0.981
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 0.760 0.384
Pre-syllable duration ratio 1.909 0.169
Post-syllable pitch ratio 10.176 0.002**
Post-syllable intensity ratio 0.002 0.964
Post-syllable duration ratio 0.002 0.962

Nonword Pre-syllable pitch ratio 0.429 0.513
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 1.941 0.165
Pre-syllable duration ratio 2.542 0.112
Post-syllable pitch ratio 10.892 0.001**
Post-syllable intensity ratio 3.538 0.061
Post-syllable duration ratio 0.416 0.520
Table 5
Acoustic changes in homophones according to age
Division Index Age (year) N M SD
Word Pre-syllable pitch ratio 20s–30s 100 96.78 12.25
40s–50s 100 97.31 13.17
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 20s–30s 100 99.51 3.30
40s–50s 100 97.88 3.96
Pre-syllable duration ratio 20s–30s 100 41.53 12.94
40s–50s 100 43.311 10.92
Post-syllable pitch ratio 20s–30s 100 100.46 8.24
40s–50s 100 100.75 10.76
Post-syllable intensity ratio 20s–30s 100 99.71 3.01
40s–50s 100 99.79 3.34
Post-syllable duration ratio 20s–30s 100 44.29 12.40
40s–50s 100 49.24 14.79

Nonword Pre-syllable pitch ratio 20s–30s 100 97.15 13.20
40s–50s 100 99.29 13.63
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 20s–30s 100 99.39 2.99
40s–50s 100 98.92 4.20
Pre-syllable duration ratio 20s–30s 100 39.63 12.53
40s–50s 100 45.88 14.63
Post-syllable pitch ratio 20s–30s 100 100.65 9.28
40s–50s 100 99.68 11.78
Post-syllable intensity ratio 20s–30s 100 100.13 2.68
40s–50s 100 99.07 3.49
Post-syllable duration ratio 20s–30s 100 44.72 11.57
40s–50s 100 50.02 23.05
Table 6
Difference of acoustic changes in homophones according to age
Division Index F p
Word Pre-syllable pitch ratio 0.627 0.429
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 3.135 0.078
Pre-syllable duration ratio 1.543 0.216
Post-syllable pitch ratio 5.909 0.016*
Post-syllable intensity ratio 0.338 0.562
Post-syllable duration ratio 3.044 0.083

Nonword Pre-syllable pitch ratio 0.018 0.892
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 1.800 0.181
Pre-syllable duration ratio 0.622 0.431
Post-syllable pitch ratio 4.867 0.029*
Post-syllable intensity ratio 6.183 0.014*
Post-syllable duration ratio 0.959 0.329
Table 7
Acoustic changes in resyllabification according to gender
Division Index Gender N M SD
Resyllbication Pre-syllable pitch ratio M 71 98.17 13.09
F 77 97.40 11.65
Pre-syllable intensity ratio M 71 98.57 3.88
F 77 99.20 3.57
Pre-syllable duration ratio M 71 44.49 7.67
F 77 45.87 9.83
Post-syllable pitch ratio M 71 118.96 29.83
F 77 166.93 88.17
Post-syllable intensity ratio M 71 99.74 3.32
F 77 99.32 3.26
Post-syllable duration ratio M 71 52.87 11.09
F 77 53.29 13.20

Syllabication Pre-syllable pitch ratio M 129 98.26 12.97
F 123 96.82 14.04
Pre-syllable intensity ratio M 129 98.52 4.10
F 123 99.38 3.13
Pre-syllable duration ratio M 129 46.26 11.75
F 123 47.51 11.83
Post-syllable pitch ratio M 129 152.81 56.96
F 123 226.85 121.74
Post-syllable intensity ratio M 129 100.21 2.85
F 123 99.31 3.25
Post-syllable duration ratio M 129 51.17 18.64
F 252 50.15 15.94
Table 8
Multivariate Test for Acoustic Changes in resyllabification according to gender
Variables F df p
Gender Pillai’s Trace 9.129 391.000 0.000***
Liaison rule Pillai’s Trace 5.657 391.000 0.000***
Gender * liason rule Pillai’s Trace 0.613 391.000 0.720
Table 9
Difference Between Individuals in Acoustic Changes of Resyllabification by Gender
Variables Index df MS F p
Gender Pre-syllable pitch ratio 1 114.554 0.668 0.414
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 1 52.083 3.830 0.051
Pre-syllable duration ratio 1 160.002 1.370 0.243
Post-syllable pitch ratio 1 346,595.315 47.712 0.000***
Post-syllable intensity ratio 1 40.227 4.063 0.045
Post-syllable duration ratio 1 64.267 0.298 0.585

Liaison rule Pre-syllable pitch ratio 1 5.548 0.032 0.857
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 1 0.417 0.031 0.861
Pre-syllable duration ratio 1 269.534 2.308 0.130
Post-syllable pitch ratio 1 204,696.119 28.178 0.000***
Post-syllable intensity ratio 1 4.736 0.478 0.490
Post-syllable duration ratio 1 813.601 3.773 0.053

Gender * Liaison rule Pre-syllable pitch ratio 1 10.530 0.061 0.804
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 1 1.246 0.092 0.762
Pre-syllable duration ratio 1 0.431 0.004 0.952
Post-syllable pitch ratio 1 15,823.835 2.178 0.141
Post-syllable intensity ratio 1 5.508 0.556 0.456
Post-syllable duration ratio 1 146.618 0.680 0.410
Table 10
Acoustic changes in resyllabification according to age
Division Index Age N M SD
Resyllbication Pre-syllable pitch ratio 20s–30s 79 96.82 11.21
40s–50s 69 98.85 13.49
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 20s–30s 79 99.27 3.53
40s–50s 69 98.47 3.92
Pre-syllable duration ratio 20s–30s 79 44.02 9.32
40s–50s 69 46.57 8.15
Post-syllable pitch ratio 20s–30s 79 150.21 78.27
40s–50s 69 136.71 61.06
Post-syllable intensity ratio 20s–30s 79 99.76 3.13
40s–50s 69 99.26 3.46
Post-syllable duration ratio 20s–30s 79 50.14 9.50
40s–50s 69 56.46 14.00

Syllabication Pre-syllable pitch ratio 20s–30s 121 97.06 13.63
40s–50s 131 98.01 13.40
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 20s–30s 121 99.57 2.88
40s–50s 131 98.36 4.22
Pre-syllable duration ratio 20s–30s 121 44.03 11.154
40s–50s 131 49.50 11.78
Post-syllable pitch ratio 20s–30s 121 188.91 110.10
40s–50s 131 188.98 92.56
Post-syllable intensity ratio 20s–30s 121 100.03 2.65
40s–50s 131 99.53 3.42
Post-syllable duration ratio 20s–30s 121 47.13 8.28
40s–50s 131 52.93 20.27
Table 11
Multivariate test for acoustic changes in resyllabification by age
Variables F df p
Age Pillai’s Trace 9.234 391.000 0.000***
Liaison rule Pillai’s Trace 4.899 391.000 0.000***
Age * liaison rule Pillai’s Trace 0.464 391.000 0.835
Table 12
Multivariate test for acoustic changes in resyllabification by age
Variables Index df MS F p
Age Pre-syllable pitch ratio 1 206.420 1.204 0.273
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 1 92.169 6.843 0.009
Pre-syllable duration ratio 1 1,492.409 13.341 0.000***
Post-syllable pitch ratio 1 4,193.537 0.503 0.479
Post-syllable intensity ratio 1 23.304 2.335 0.127
Post-syllable duration ratio 1 3,412.292 16.463 0.000***

Liaison rule Pre-syllable pitch ratio 1 8.286 0.048 0.826
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 1 0.828 0.061 0.804
Pre-syllable duration ratio 1 199.153 1.780 0.183
Post-syllable pitch ratio 1 192,234.398 23.067 0.000***
Post-syllable intensity ratio 1 6.847 0.686 0.408
Post-syllable duration ratio 1 992.430 4.788 0.029*

Age * liaison rule Pre-syllable pitch ratio 1 26.881 0.157 0.692
Pre-syllable intensity ratio 1 3.897 0.289 0.591
Pre-syllable duration ratio 1 198.697 1.776 0.183
Post-syllable pitch ratio 1 4,272.638 0.513 0.474
Post-syllable intensity ratio 1 0.000 0.000 0.996
Post-syllable duration ratio 1 6.225 0.030 0.863

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