As they say in Korean… 시…작!

시작 in Korean means something like “ready, set, go” or “start!”

The first month of this summer involved mostly preparing for my experiment in various ways. Luckily, I was able to record several Korean speakers during the end of the semester, so I already had the audio files that I needed. I sorted through them and decided to use the slowest speaker. The other two speakers spoke quite fast, so I was afraid listeners might have a hard time catching the words.

Originally my experiment was going to be composed of two parts. The first part dealt with just crossplicing the stimuli, and the second part dealt with changing the tone contours of the stimuli. However, the target words did not seem to possess the tone contours that the original article had talked about. I did more research to gain a better idea of what the article was talking about, but the sources I found discussed contours in phrases instead of in specific words. I finally found the original research article on tone contours, but this article was in Korean! However, based on the other articles citing this source, it didn’t seem like useful information to my project. My advisor and I decided that it would be more beneficial to focus on the stimuli splicing. This part of the experiment both replicates some of study by Kim and al. (2002), while also taking it further to look at affricates. It also can provide useful information about the debated classification of one of the Korean sibilants.

During the first month, I began by cross-splicing my stimuli. After talking to my advisor, I decided to use three different series- the t series, the affricate series, and the sibilant series. All of these series are produced in around the same area of the mouth (alveolar or post alveolar).  I took the target words in the Korean recordings and separated them from the rest of the sentences. Then, I separated each word into the “consonant part” and the “vowel part.” I determined the vowel part to be where voicing began to start.