At present, the following are considered in the KAEPS system.
1. Vowel System
Figure 1. (Simple) Vowel Chart of Korean
Figure 1 expresses only the simple vowels of modern standard Korean. Korean has two pairs of non-low back vowels: high and mid rounded vowels, /u, o/, and high and mid unrounded vowels, /, /. The unrounded back vowels are more forward than their corresponding rounded ones. The distance between two non-high front vowels, /e/ and //, is so close that many Koreans may not distinguish them from each other. All Korean vowels are tense vowels, so that there is no tense-lax distinction such as /i/ vs. // and /u/ vs. // as in English.
2. Consonant System
Figure 2. Consonant Chart of Korean
One characteristic of Korean consonants, shown in Figure 2, is that there are three distinctive voiceless sounds in the stop and affricate categories (H-B Park, 1992; Kenstowicz, 1994; M-R Kim, 1994; Nam & Southard, 1994; HS Kim & Jongman, 1996). These are (1) (strongly) aspirated sounds /p, t, k, /; (2) unaspirated fortis sounds /p*, t*, k*, */; and (3) unaspirated (or slightly aspirated) lenis sounds /p, t, k, /. In Korean, the number of fricatives is very small compared to that of stops. There are one glottal fricative /h/ and two alveolar fricatives, of which one is a fortis /s*/ and the other a lenis /s/. There are no fricatives such as /f, v, , , z, , /. There are three nasals, /m, n, /. There is only one glide '[ril]' in Korea, which is complementarily distributed between /r/ and /l/.
3. Syllable-Final Neutralization
|(3)||Syllable Final Neutralization Rule (SFNR)
However, if a particle starting with a vowel is attached to the words in (4), resyllabification occurs and the consonants in the coda position are moved to the onset position of the following syllable before the application of SFNR (3). Let me show some examples, adding a nominative particle "-i" to each word of (4) above.
4. Lenis Stop Voicing
|(6)||Lenis Stop Voicing Rule (LSVR)
This rule can apply not only within a word but also across a word boundary, as shown below:
(10) C --> [+nasal] / V ___] [+nasal]
However, this rule seems too broad to be explainable. In the case of (9-c,d,e) for example, different voiceless consonants with different features (i.e., an aspirated alveolar stop /t/, an alveolar fricative /s/, and a palato-alveolar affricate //) become a (voiced) alveolar nasal /n/. Notice that the target obstruent for the application of the nasalization rule is under the environments for both the SFNR (3) and the LSVR (5). After the application of these rules, the target obstruent is a voiced lenis stop, and the formulation of this rule can be drawn as follows:
|(11)||Nasalization Rule (NasR)|
|(13)||/n/ Insertion Rule (n-IR)|
The examples are given in (14). This rule applies before the NasR(11) and provide the environments for the NasR as shown in (14-d).