The Gyeongsang dialects (also spelled Kyŏngsang), or Southeastern Korean, are dialects of the Korean language of the Yeongnam region, which includes both Gyeongsang provinces, North and South. There are approximately 13,000,000 speakers. Unlike Standard Korean, most of the variants of the Gyeongsang dialects are tonal, which is similar to Middle Korean.

Southeastern Korean
경상도 방언(사투리) 慶尙道 方言
Native toSouth Korea
RegionYeongnam (Gyeongsang Province)
  • North Gyeongsang
  • South Gyeongsang
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Gyeongsang dialects vary. A native speaker can distinguish the dialect of Daegu from that of the Busan-Ulsan area although the first city is less than 100 kilometers away from the latter two cities. Dialectal forms are relatively similar along the midstream of Nakdong River but are different near Busan and Ulsan, Jinju and Pohang as well as along the eastern slopes of Mount Jiri.

Vowels edit

Most Gyeongsang dialects have six vowels, a (ㅏ), e (ㅔ), i (ㅣ), eo (ㅓ), o (ㅗ), u (ㅜ). In most areas, the vowels ㅐ(ae) and ㅔ (e) are conflated, as are ㅡ(eu) and ㅓ(eo). W and y are generally dropped after a consonant, especially in South Gyeongsang dialects. For example, soegogi (쇠고기) 'beef' is pronounced sogogi (소고기), and gwaja (과자) 'confectionery' is pronounced ggaja (까자).

Vowels are fronted when the following syllable has a y or i, unless a coronal consonant intervenes. For example, eomi 'mother' is emi, and gogi 'meat' is gegi.[1][2]

Consonants edit

Southern Gyeongsang (specifically, nearby Namhae) dialects lack the tense consonant ss (ㅆ). Thus, the speakers pronounce ssal (쌀), meaning "rice", as sal (살) meaning "flesh". Palatalization is widespread: gy-, gi, ki and ky- are pronounced j and ch, e.g. 귤 is jul and 기름 is jileum, while hy- is pronounced s, e.g. 힘 is sim. Many words have tense consonants where the standard is tenuis. Middle Korean z and β are preserved as s and b, as in 새비 saebi for Standard Korean 새우 saeu "shrimp" or 가새 gasae for Standard Korean 가위 gawi "scissors".[1][2]

Tone edit

Dialects are classified as North Gyeongsang or South Gyeongsang based on pitch accent. North Gyeongsang has high tone, low tone (short vowel), and high tone (long vowel), whereas South Gyeongsang has high, mid, and low tone.[3][4][5][6][2] For example, South Gyeongsang distinguishes sóni 'guest', sōni 'hand', and sòni 'grandchild'. Pitch accent plays a grammatical role as well, for example distinguishing causative and passive as in jép-pida 'make s.o. catch' and jepída 'be caught'.[1]

In North Gyeongsang, any syllable may have pitch accent in the form of a high tone, as may the two initial syllables. For example, in trisyllabic words, there are four possible tone patterns:[7]

  • 메누리[mé.nu.ɾi] ('daughter-in-law')
  • 어무이[ʌ.mú.i] ('mother')
  • 원어민[wʌ.nʌ.mín] ('native speaker')
  • 오래비[ó.ɾé.bi] ('elder brother')

Grammar edit

The Gyeongsang dialect maintains a trace of Middle Korean: the grammar of the dialect distinguishes between a yes–no question and a wh-question, while Standard Modern Korean does not. With an informal speech level, for example, yes–no questions end with "-a (아)" and wh-questions end with "-o (오)" in the Gyeongsang dialect, whereas in standard speech both types of questions end in either "-ni (니)" or "-eo (어)" without a difference between the types of questions. For example:

  • "밥 뭇나?" [Bap múnna?] or "밥 묵읏나?" [Bap múgeunna?] as opposed to "밥 먹었니?" [Bap meogeonní?] or "밥 먹었어?" [Bap meogeosséo?] (casual greetings in Korean.)
 — "Did you have a meal?" or "Did you eat?" 
  • "머 뭇노?" [Meo munno?] as opposed to "뭘 먹었니?" [Meol meogeonni?] or "뭘 먹었어?" [Meol meogeosseo?]
 — "What did you eat?"

Notice that the first question can be answered with a yes or no, while the latter question requires detail explanation of the food eaten.

However, -no also works as a rhetorical question ending.

  • "이거 와 이래 맛있노" [Igeo wa irae masinno.]
 - Literal meaning "Why is this so delicious?", actual meaning "This is so delicious."

This phenomenon can also be observed in tag questions, which are answered with a yes or no.

  • "Eopje, geújya?" (업제, 그쟈?) as opposed to "Eopji, geureotchí?" (없지, 그렇지?)
 — "It isn't there, is it?"

Sociolinguistics edit

From the Park Chung Hee to the Kim Young-sam governments (1961–1997), the Gyeongsang dialect had greater prominence in the Korean media than other dialects as all of the presidents except Choi Kyu-hah) were natives of Gyeongsang province. That is why some South Korean politicians or high-rank officials have been misunderstood for not trying to convert to the Seoul accent, which is considered standard in South Korea.

However, when former president Kim Young-sam was in office, his public speeches were the subject of much scrutiny and his pronunciation elicited both criticism and amusement. He once mistakenly pronounced '경제 (Gyeongje, 經濟: meaning 'economy')' as '갱제 (Gaengje: a Gyeongsang pronunciation of the older generation for '경제')' and '외무부 장관 (oemubu-janggwan, 外務部長官: meaning 'foreign minister')' as '애무부 장관 (aemubu-janggwan, 愛撫部長官: meaning 'making out minister')'. A humorous anecdote arose from another of his public speeches where audiences were said to have been surprised to hear that he would make Jeju a world-class 'rape' (관광, 觀光 [gwan gwang, tourism] > 강간, 強姦 [gang-gan, rape]) city by building up an 'adultery' (관통하는, 貫通- [gwantonghaneun, going-through]) > 간통하는, 姦通- [gantonghaneun, adulterous]) motorway.[8]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Ho-min Sohn, 2006. Korean language in culture and society
  2. ^ a b c Yeon, Jaehoon. "Korean dialects: a general survey" (PDF).
  3. ^ Chung, Young-Hee (2002). "Contour tone in the North Kyungsang dialect: evidence for its existence" (PDF). Studies in Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology. 8 (1): 135–47.
  4. ^ Utsugi, Akira (2007). The interplay between lexical and postlexical tonal phenomena and the prosodic structure in Masan/Changwon Korean (PDF) (Thesis).
  5. ^ Utsugi, Akira; Jang, Hyejin (2007). Lexical pitch accent and tonal targets in Daegu Korean (MS thesis). University of Edinburgh.
  6. ^ Kenstowicz, Michael; Park, Chiyoun (2006). "Laryngeal features and tone in Kyungsang Korean: a phonetic study" (PDF). Studies in Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology.
  7. ^ The Prosodic Structure and Pitch Accent of Northern Kyungsang Korean, Jun et al., JEAL 2005[]
  8. ^ ""제주 '강간'의 도시" YS 일화, 사실일까" (in Korean). November 28, 2015.

External links edit