Someone told me that ㄱ giyeok at the bottom end of syllable is pronounced as th sound. Is this true?
1Who is "someone" and why would you think that? Do you have any examples of where you think this is happening? Have you tried searching for it's pronunciation on google or youtube?– user17915 ♦Aug 18, 2022 at 10:12
Unless this individual was speaking of some sort of slang or colloquialism, I have never heard of the described pronunciation of ㄱ .– Vladhagen ♦Nov 14, 2022 at 15:56
When you say the bottom end of a syllable, you're talking about 받침, that is to say ㄱ as a 받침 in 각, 낙, 닥, 락, 막 and so on, right? Assuming this is true, I just tried to name some possibilities where ㄱ may sound like theta by 연음법칙 or linking, but I can't come up with any. I also googled 'ㄱ 받침 번데기 발음' and didn't come up with any results. Ask your friend to give us an example!
Just so you know theta is uncommon in Korean, practically unused. I think the closest a Korean can articulate theta via Korean alphabets is 뗘/땨/뚀 which is terrible on our tongues.
In closed syllables (i.e. if it's the end of the word or a consonant follows it) 받침 (the bottom end of syllable) allows only for 7 sounds:ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅇ. As you see, ㄱ sound is in the list, so no need to change it to something else.
Any other sounds are converted to one of these seven like follows ㄲ, ㅋ -> ㄱ 키읔[키윽] ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅌ -> ㄷ 웃다[욷ː따], 빚다[빋따] ㅍ -> ㅂ 덮다[덥따] That's if we are talking about 1-letter 받침. Among cases when 받침 consists of 2 letters there are also none that drastically change ㄱ sound. I mean, there is a rule for opened syllables that if ㄱ at the end of syllable is followed by ㅎ, then the reading changes to an aspirated ㅋ (각하[가카], 밝히다[발키다]), but that's pretty much it.
Plus, there's no sound 'th' in Korean to begin with =)
So no, it's not true that ㄱ at the bottom end of syllable is pronounced as th sound.
For additional info, try googling 표준 발음법, 표준어 규정, 한글 맞춤법.
Source: 표준어 규정 해설 (Explanation for rules of standard language, chapter 4 Pronunciation of 받침)
Hope I could answer your question!