Sino-Korean coda -l and the syllabic structure of Old Sino-Korean

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Old/Middle Chinese codas of the entering tone are well preserved in Sino-Korean except for Chinese *-t, which changed to Sino-Korean -l. This article claims that Old Chinese coda *-t changed to Sino-Korean -l because coda -t was not fully developed in Old Korean by the time the Sino-Korean phonological system was formed in the eighth century. This article also proposes that the syllabic structure of Old Sino-Korean was (C)V at the earliest stage and gradually changed to (C)V(C). Evidence is presented from place names of the Samguk sagi along with other relevant Old Sino-Korean materials. The results of this study suggest we must reject the views that Sino-Korean coda -l developed under the influence of similar changes that occurred in Chinese dialects, that Middle Chinese coda -t remained the same in Sino-Korean until the sixth century but changed to -l in the seventh century, or that it was realized as -r due to phonetic adjustment caused by released codas of Old Korean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2019 Jan


  • Coda
  • Middle Chinese
  • Old Chinese
  • Old Korean
  • Sino-Korean
  • Syllabic structure

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