The goal of the present study is to examine whether Chinese learners of Korean accurately produce tensification in Korean compounds as well as three-way Korean stop distinction. First, our acoustic experiment showed that Chinese learners differently produced Korean lax, tense, and aspirated obstruents, varying acoustic properties like closure or frication duration, intensity slope, and F0 of the following vowels. This result seems to indicate that they successfully mastered three-way distinction in Korean obstruents. However, subsequent block of experiment showed that they did not produce tensification in Korean compounds, which is a crucial morphophonological marker for Korean compounds. From the pedagogical perspective and L2 phonetics, this finding suggests that tensification as morphological marker for compounds should be explicitly taught coupled with morphological L2 learning for Chinese or other L2 learners of Korean.
2. Research Questions