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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Commun Sci Disord. 2008;13(2): 193-215.
Phoneme and Syllable Frequencies of Korean Based on the Analysis of Spontaneous Speech Data
Jiyoung Shin`
Copyright ©2008 The Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
신지영(Jiyoung Shin)
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ABSTRACT

Background & Objectives
The aim of the present study is to provide information on the frequencies of occurrence of units of Korean phonemes and syllables based on the careful analysis of spontaneous speech spoken by adult Koreans. Information on phoneme and syllable frequencies is one of the most fundamental and basic knowledge on Korean language and is used in the segmentation of speech signal into meaningful utterance units.
Methods
Fifty-seven adult speakers (28 males and 29 females) of standard Korean were used as subjects for the present study. Spontaneous speech of the subjects was recorded and phonemically transcribed. Phoneme and syllable frequencies were calculated from the database. The data size of the present study was as follows: 35,439 utterances, 403,572 syllables, 858,479 phonemes. Results & Discussion: The percentages of vowels and consonants used are 47% and 53%, respectively. 75.9% of consonants occupy the onset position in the syllable structure. Among 37 phonemes, /a/ showed the highest frequency and /a, n, k, i, l, ʌ/ occupied the next rankings. The cumulated frequency of these six phonemes was over 50%. Syllable frequency was also investigated. A total of 1,219 syllable types were observed. However, the most frequent 36 syllable types, i.e. 3.0% of all observed syllable types, account for over 50% of the speech data. In most cases, the frequently occurring syllable types were part of grammatical words or morphemes.
Conclusion
Information on the phoneme and syllable frequencies of Korean is fundamental and basic data for speech pathology, Korean language teaching, speech engineering, and linguistics.
Keywords: 음소 빈도 | 자음 빈도 | 모음 빈도 | 음절 빈도 | 자유 발화 | 음성 전사 | phoneme frequency
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