2

I mean 예사소리 (plain), 된소리 (tense), and 거센소리 (aspirated) by "the three types", in regard of voiceless occulsives, of course.

As for voice onset time (VOT), it is well-known that 된소리 (ㄲ,ㄸ,ㅃ,ㅉ) has the shortest, 예사소리 (ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅈ) has the intermediate, and 거센소리 (ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅍ,ㅊ) has the longest. Yet I suspect there are other factors that make this difference.

The particular such factor I believe to exist is the flow velocity (유속; 流速) of the airstream (here I abbreviate to FVA) during the aspiration (that is, between release and voice onset). In this regard, I suspect 예사소리 has slower FVA than 된소리. Was there a study on this?

EDIT: I suspect FVA also distinguishes ㅅ and ㅆ.

3

Here are some other acoustic differences. I don't know what articulatory differences are behind them:

  • The vowel after a tense or aspirated consonant has higher pitch than the vowel after a plain consonant. Some references: https://www.ling.upenn.edu/~csunghye/Cho_Lee2016_Final.pdf, http://www.yoonjungkang.com/uploads/1/1/6/2/11625099/syllabary_submitted.pdf

    This has a basis in some articulatory facts about how VOT relates to pitch: apparently, voiced consonants naturally cause a lowered pitch at the start of the following vowel. However, in Korean it seems low pitch has come to be used to mark plain consonants even in word-initial contexts where they are not voiced and the VOT may be comparable to that of aspirated consonants

  • Between vowels, tense consonants have a longer closure duration than plain consonants (plain stops are voiced in this context, so maybe it isn't relevant to your question?). There may be neutralization between single tense plosives and geminate clusters formed by an original sequence of two obstruents with the same place of articulation where the second is not an aspirated plosive. Sources say somewhat different things about this neutralization so I'm not that sure about it, but some sources say that tense consonants between vowels should always be analyzed as geminates. See figure 2 here: https://kb.osu.edu/bitstream/handle/1811/81969/WPL_45_February_1995_085.pdf

Here is a paper about ㅅ and ㅆ with a lot of information that I don't know how to summarize: https://escholarship.org/content/qt45m3n16n/qt45m3n16n_noSplash_be37072bfbc58035349759792cb92659.pdf

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