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SOAS seminar – Clever Speakers and Flexible Listeners: A Study on Sais-soli in Korean

The first of SOAS’s Friday evening seminars of 2019:

Clever Speakers and Flexible Listeners: A Study on Sais-soli in Korean

Hae-Sung Jeon (University of Central Lancashire)
18 January 2019, 5:15 – 7:00 pm
Venue: Brunei Gallery Room B211
Online registration required

Sais Soli image


Variation is natural and important part of language. What is fascinating in speech communication is that listeners are remarkably good at dealing with phonetic variation although the same word is never produced in the same way, probably because the variation is systematic and predictable. The focus of this paper is seemingly hard-to-predict phonetic variation called sais-soli ‘between-sound’ in Korean. Sais-soli is a type of consonantal insertion commonly observed in compounding but accounting for its variation has remained as a challenge for decades. Results of experiments investigating the phonetic realisations of sais-soli and how listeners make use of them will be discussed. They show that multiple factors including the frequency profile of the compounds affect speakers’ sais-soli production and listeners’ linguistic interpretation. The results demonstrate the speech production-perception link and the dynamic process of word formation and communication. How the language usage affects memory and speech perception – in dealing with variation in particular – will be discussed, together with similar cases in English and Japanese.

Speaker Biography

Dr Hae-Sung Jeon is a Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire. She has a BA with double major in Child Welfare and Studies, and English Language and Literature at Sookmyung Women’s University, South Korea, an MSc in Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Cambridge. Her main research interests are speech production and perception, phonology-phonetics interface, speech prosody and Korean linguistics. She has published findings of her research in leading journals including the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Laboratory Phonology, and the Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

2 thoughts on “SOAS seminar – Clever Speakers and Flexible Listeners: A Study on Sais-soli in Korean

  1. There can’t be many expressions that are completely unknown to Google, but “sais soli” is one of them.

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