An Acoustic Study of the Word-final Lateral Approximant in Korea

Miyeon Ahn 1 ,
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1Seoul National University
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ⓒ Copyright 2017 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Feb 20, 2017 ; Revised: Jul 22, 2017 ; Accepted: Jul 24, 2017

Published Online: Aug 31, 2017


The phonological representation of the Korean lateral has been widely discussed while less attention has been paid to the phonetic realizations of the sound. In the present study, we examine the static and dynamic properties of the Korean lateral from a production study and we measure the duration, the three formants and the time-normalized trajectories. Based on the results of a production study, it was found that (i) the duration of the lateral approximant in Korean is constant irrespective of the preceding vowel contexts, that (ii) the three formants of the lateral are severely influenced by the preceding contexts, and that (iii) the initial part of the lateral articulation share similar acoustic properties with the preceding vowels, but as the articulation continues, it becomes unaffected by the vowels.

Keywords: lateral approximant /l/; Korean; contexts; acoustic properties