The meaning-sound systematicity also found in the Korean language

AbstractRecent studies of meaning-sound systematicity have consistently found a small but significant positive correlation between semantics and phonology. The current study adds further evidence from an etymologically distinct language, Korean. Through multiple methods, the study shows that similar sounds tend to have similar meanings in Korean monosyllables. Several cultural aspects of the language are also quantified. Pure Korean words return stronger meaning-sound correlation than Sino-Korean words, which is attributable to the higher portion of homonyms in Sino-Korean. The most frequent words show the strongest systematicity, which permeates all of the monosyllables. Certain types of vowels seem to contribute to this effect.

Return to previous page