I used to like the visuals in the right-hand column of the old blog. Pity they seem to have disappeared in the new version.
It’s true that the new site does not allow me to place pictures in the sidebar. But I can still put them in the body of the text. I’ll try to remember to include more than I have been doing since moving sites. There are two small graphics in today’s post, just to make sure.
Contrary to popular belief, neither the Korean hangŭl script nor Japanese kana are opaque in the way that Chinese characters are. The Korean writing system is actually alphabetic, while the Japanese katakana is a straightforward syllabary. Both of them can be spelled out symbol by symbol.
Here is the word elevator written in Korean.
It reads el-li-be-i-tŏ. When the Korean phoneme written ᄅ is between vowels it is pronounced as a tap, ɾ. But in syllable-final position, and when geminated (as here), it is pronounced as a lateral, l. As the IPA Handbook puts it,
/l/ is [ɾ] intervocalically; … /ll/ is [ll]…
Here is the same word in Japanese.
It reads e-re-be-:-ta-:.
So the differences between the two languages in the treatment of this borrowing from American English are these,
• English l is correctly rendered as a lateral (but a geminated one);
• English eɪ is correctly rendered as a diphthong;
• the final AmE ɚ comes out as ŏ (ʌ)
• English l comes out as a tap ɾ, not as a lateral (except by chance sometimes)
• the diphthong is rendered as a long monophthong (though Japanese no longer distinguishes between ei and ee, anyway);
• the final ɚ comes out as a long aː.
In both languages, English v is rendered as b. The two languages differ in how they treat the second, unstressed, vowel: but then so do native speakers.