I am currently learning with the book "Elementary Korean" by Tuttle. According to the book, when ㅌ appears before 이, it should be pronounced as ㅊ, when it appears at the end of a morpheme or word (known as "palatalization to ㅈ", p. 43).

Specifically, you can find the exercise and the recording here:
this is the exercise (8th and 14th entry)
This is the recording on the CD

As far as I can hear, the audio recordings shippped with that book do that instead:
짙 + 이 is pronounced as [지티] (pretty sure here)
낟 + 이 is pronounced as [나지 ] (could also be [나치], my hearing might not be optimal).

Obviously, this is a contradiction to the statements in the book - could someone shed some light on this rule, when it is applied and how? Did I miss something blatantly obvious?

This is the exercise (8th and 14th entry):

This is the exercise (8th and 14th entry)

This is the recording on the CD.

Thank you very much!

  • 1
    Warm welcome to Korean SE. If you are basing this question on the book you are studying with, can you please quote the examples of the book by typing them or taking a picture of it? I don't think there is such a Korean word as "짙이" or "낟이" and I wonder if a book has such an example. I think better examples would be "같이" which is pronounced as [가치] and "굳이" which is [구지]. Can you review your question again and see if you can edit it?
    – user7
    Sep 19, 2016 at 17:14
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    Thank you very much! Here is the picture (8th and 14th entry): This is the recording on the CD
    – zeroByte
    Sep 19, 2016 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


The 짙이 pronunciation is definitely odd, it should be pronounced as [지치] according to the standard.

For 낟이, you're hearing it wrong. It's definitely saying [나지].

The palatalization rules are something even Koreans find confusing too, there's a phenomenon called spirantization(마찰음화) and weakening(약자음화) that merges ㄷ/ㅊ/ㅌ finals pronunciation to ㅅ. Especially for ㄷ, notice how there are no nouns in Korean that end in ㄷ? That's because spriantization happened to ㄷ-ending nouns a long time ago(18th century). And it's now happening to the rest of the "complex finals", except some fossilized words such as 굳이.

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