I just started taking phonology class and have trouble translating some term used in the material. one of those term is 운소. What is it in english?

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    What is the context for this word (sample phrase, sentence)?
    – user17915
    Sep 7, 2021 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


운소 (also called 비분절음운) is called a "suprasegmental (phoneme)" in English.


운소 is a suprasegmental or prosodic feature that distinguishes words; it can include "long/short" length of vowels (as found in the standard language (표준어)), and it can include tone (as found in the 경상 dialects).

You'll also run into 음운, which is an umbrella term that includes 음소 (phonemes) and 운소.

All of these are minimal phonetic units that can distinguish words; 음소 include the consonants and vowels, whereas 운소 are other features that minimally distinguish words; hence 눈 (short vowel) is "eye", whereas 눈ː (with a long vowel) is "snow" (though in practice, the length distinction has mostly disappeared).

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