Is there any rule for the pronunciation of 닫히다 as tachida not tathida as in the picture below?

Scan of a book indicating that 닫히다 should be pronounced as tachida not tathida

1 Answer 1


This is called 구개음화 (palatalization), and it's one of several assimilation rules in Korean. It occurs when ㄷ or ㅌ is in the 받침, and is followed by a syllable beginning with 이:

같- + 이 = 같이 [가치]

굳- + 이 = 굳이 [구지]

In the example you've given, the ㄷ + ㅎ combination produce [ㅌ] sound, but since it is followed by the 이 sound, palatalization occurs, resulting in [치] pronunciation.

(Note that this rule only applies when the ㄷ/ㅌ is in the 받침 (and thus ending the morpheme). Historically, this sound change occurred across the board, but where it occurred in the middle of the word, the orthography was updated:

텬디 -> 천지

Now, exceptions like 디디다 remain; this should be pronounced as [디디다], without palatalization, because the ㄷ is not in the 받침).

  • Thanks for the clear answer. Is the rule applied for other letters except ㄷ or ㅌ? Also where can I read the rule like ㄷ --> ㅈ and ㅌ --> ㅊ for other letters (if exist)?
    – emnha
    Mar 3, 2017 at 10:44

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