I've been reading up about the Yanbian dialect of Korean, and came across the concept of vowel harmony in this article. https://www.korean.go.kr/nkview/nklife/1998_4/8-8.html

e.g. 모두 = 모도, 배우다 = 배오다, 깨끗하다 = 깨갓하다, 가게 = 가개

Does this apply to all words? If not, when/how is it used?

Does it apply to the entirety of a word or just the vowel right after?

e.g. if 한국 = 한곡, then 대한민국 = 대한민곡 or 대한민국?

If it applies to the entirety, does that include any particles attached to it?

e.g Standard Korean 배우고 싶다 in Yanbian/Hamgyeong Korean is 배오구 싶다. Would this be pronounced colloquially as 배오고 싶다? 한국에 = 한곡에 or 한곡애 ?

There is also the concept of umlaut in the Korean dialect, especially with i.

e.g. 당기다 = 댕기다, 어미 = 에미

Is this always used?

e.g. 합니다 = 햄니다?

But I don't know how this is used when it comes to vowel harmony. Are both used? Or is a vowel which changes because of harmony not affected by umlaut?

e.g. 아버지 = 아바지 or 아배지? 환영 = 환양, 홴양, or 홴영?

If anyone has any ideas, that would be great

Thank you

  • The part with Yanbian dialect is actually a pretty challenging concept that can be answered only by experts in northern Korean dialects, or Yanbian natives. Apr 9 '20 at 0:59
  • 1
    Umlauts and vowel harmonies are "linguistic phenomena" observed in spoken Korean language. You can't really tell just by looking at its construction, since it changes over time and varies from region to region. For example, 학교 is not subject to umlaut in standard Korean, but southern dialect speakers sometimes pronounce this as 핵교. It is the same for vowel harmony; sometimes it is kept, sometimes it isn't. It is relatively kept consistently in onomatopoeia(ex. 납작-넙적, 졸졸-줄줄), but even this has a lot of exceptions. Apr 9 '20 at 1:17
  • 1
    For examples given in your question: 햄니다(X), 아바지(X in standard Korean, but spoken in northern provinces), 아배지(X), 환양(X), 홴양(X), 홴영(X). Apr 9 '20 at 1:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.