• KIM, SEON JUNG (Department of Korean Studies at Keimyung University)
  • Published : 2018.06.15


This study aims to contrast phonological characteristics of Korean and Turkish in terms of language universality. Considering consonants, both languages have the same number of consonants (21), which is the most typologically plausible structure of consonants. Thus, it can be said that they display high universality in the number of consonants. However, Turkish shows higher universality in regards to their substance, i.e., it differs from Korean when it comes to the structure of plosives and affricates. Turkish has two contrastive consonants, i.e., voiced and voiceless. However, the Korean plosives and affricates consist of neutral, tense and aspirate voiceless. In the case of vowels, both Korean with 10 vowels and Turkish with 8 vowels show lower universality. Yet, all of those vowels belong to the list of the most plausible vowels which makes their universality higher in substance. In respect of the syllable structure, Korean with its (C)V(C) type shows a moderately complex structure while Turkish with its (C)V(C)(C) type has a complex structure. The coda may consist of two consonants in Turkish while only one consonant is possible in Korean. However, onset is composed of one consonant in both languages. The contrastive study of similarities and differences between Korean and Turkish in terms of phonological characteristics will help not only understand the two languages but also provide useful information to increase the efficacy of Korean language education for Turkish learners of Korean, whose number is rapidly increasing.


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