I can understand why when ㄷ ㅌ ㅊ and ㅈ are in the 받침 since they require a stop to be pronounced, but I don't understand why when ㅅ or ㅆ are in the 받침, they are pronounced as a stop since they don't require one. Is there a reason behind this rule? Or maybe some historical reason? Thanks in advance.

  • If you know why that's the case for ㅈ, you should also know why for ㅅ
    – user237
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 16:24
  • ㅈ is an affricate. It requires a stop before the frication. ㅅ does not.
    – Okoyos
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 16:28
  • Duplicate of korean.stackexchange.com/questions/75/… ?
    – user17915
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 2:26
  • @user17915 Like I said, I'm asking the why, not the when. I know how it works, but why?
    – Okoyos
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 2:29
  • 1
    Consonants in Korean have different phonetic value according to their position. In medieval Korean, a single consonant ㅅ was used as a genitive case marker. Now it is disappeared, and it was substituted by 받침. But even historians or linguists don't know the exact reason yet.
    – jungyh0218
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 8:42

1 Answer 1


Korean syllables may only end in single stops, either nasal or non-nasal stops, or in vowels. This is a defining feature of modern Korean phonotactics. Even if the hangeul shows two consonants, only one gets to be pronounced (think of nouns like 값 and 닭).

Both ㅅ and ㅆ are fricatives, so do not have plosive stops as components, unlike ㅊ and ㅈ. However, we must remember that a stop is not necessary a plosive. A plosive is a stop that has a release; in the case of ㅊ ㅈ the release is a fricative /s/ rather than a release burst like ㄷ ㅌ, so it is an affricate rather than a plosive.

However, if at the end of a syllable we do not release any of these consonants ㄷ ㅌ ㅊ ㅈ ㅅ ㅆ, we notice that they all have the same place of articulation (call it coronal, call it dental-alveolar, whatever), despite the fact that they would have very different releases. But because of the stopped, unreleased nature of Korean final non-nasal stops, the release does not matter; only the place of articulation of the consonant does.

  • 1
    Dang, I don't know what you really said, but this answer is incredibly awesome nonetheless...and I thought this group was about dead too. Nice job! Maybe I should start hanging around more :))
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 11:27
  • @B.Alvn Plenty of people still hanging around - I think what we need to make the site come to life is more questions! :) Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 23:20
  • ok i will start asking more
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 7:11

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